Report: Giants gearing up to trade star cornerback with $21.8 million cap hit pending

New York Giants, Kenny Golladay, james bradberry

The New York Giants are currently $7.6 million over the salary cap, meaning they will have to let go of a few more players to finally have a bit of loose change to spend this off-season.

Regardless of any free agent signings, the Giants simply need enough money to get their rookie draft class under contract. Unfortunately, this means that several high-profile players on the roster will depart at some point, but it is a matter of who.

Star running back Saquon Barkley has been a hot name as a potential trade candidate in recent days, but the expectation is that the Giants will retain him rather looking toward a big-money defensive player as a means of saving money.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport stated that the Giants are more likely to trade James Bradberry than Saquon Barkley:

“One player who may end up getting traded and certainly will be the subject of trade calls is James Bradberry. The big-ticket free agent from several years ago still playing at a very high level. … He is expected to be a player teams are going to call and potentially the Giants will listen.”

If the Giants were to retain James Bradberry this upcoming season, his cap hit would be $21.8 million. However, if they release him, they would save $12.1 million in salary space but accrue a $9.7 dead money hit. At this point in time, the Giants are better off saving a bit of cash rather than spending the full $21.8 million on him, especially given the defensive scheme shift.

As Rapoport mentions, trading Bradberry seems like the most efficient method of clearing his salary hit, and opposing teams may give Big Blue a mid-round selection for their troubles.

The Giants have already restructured Bradberry’s contract multiple times, so they will pay him $1.3 million during the 2023 season when he becomes a free agent.

When did Gettleman originally signed Bradberry back in 2020, he enjoyed one of the best years of any cornerback in the NFL. He allowed 454 yards and just three touchdowns, tallying three interceptions and 14 pass breakups. Last season, he came crashing back down to earth, allowing 729 yards and eight touchdowns, more than doubling his previous permitted production last year.

Despite Bradberry finding his norm in 2021, teams that play a heavy zone coverage scheme will likely view him as a nice commodity to add to their system. Considering the Giants are simply trying to get rid of his contract, he would be a steal for a team with $10 million to spend and in dire need of an above-average corner.
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