Personality is an underrated factor when it comes to players in the NFL. Often times, coaches will tolerate a crazed temperament and disposition if the player produces quality performances on the football field. That’s what the New York Giants endured with Odell Beckham Jr. and the Pittsburg Steelers with Antonio Brown.
The New York Giants don’t need any more distractions:
Having a player who can put their head down and work without creating a distraction is a significant part of locker-room success. The Giants are getting just that in cornerback James Bradberry, who signed a three-year, $45 million deal with Big Blue this free agency period.
As a tier-2 player, Bradberry does not carry “elite” status at the cornerback position, but he’s a quality player who has room left to grow.
George Willis of the NY Post spoke to his father, who stated that he would be coming to the Big Apple with a chip on his shoulder:
“He’s still got that chip on his shoulder from his senior year in high school,” James Bradberry Sr. told The Post. “From some reason, the ACC and the SEC schools said he was too slow even though he led the state in interceptions. He was 6-foot, 205 pounds and ran a 4.5, and they were recruiting players that were slower than him. He’s still got that chip on his shoulder about that. He’s always out to prove himself.”
Bradberry’s father seems to be an integral factor in his son’s decision making, as he called out the Panthers and Matt Rhule for turning to an offensive mentality that puts the defensive in the rear-view mirror.
“They gave Rhule a big contract, but he hasn’t proven anything. He comes from the Big 12, which is an offensive-minded conference. You can rebuild the offense, but keep that defense together. You need defense to win in the NFL.”
Bradberry’s father also detailed an even more interesting fact — the Giants were all in on Dallas’ Byron Jones, but lost out on him to the Miami Dolphins, who gave him more years and guaranteed money. Bradberry was second on the list and matched his number with little negotiation.
“The Giants first wanted the guy from Dallas and were really going after him,” Bradberry said. “When they didn’t get him, they had my son second and they matched the number that he wanted.”
There’s no question that James is a great player who can fill the void Janoris Jenkins left behind, but the Giants have struggled in the secondary the past few seasons, which attests to the investments they’ve made to bolster the unit.
New head coach Joe Judge seems to be focused on stopping the run and upgrading the defensive backfield, which is a priority after the Giants ranked towards the bottom of the league in most categories.
The offense has plenty of playmakers to work with but needs offensive tackle support, which could be addressed in the upcoming draft.