New York Giants’ James Bradberry a major upgrade over Janoris Jenkins?

New York Giants, James Bradberry

When the New York Giants reached out to James Bradberry to mull over the idea of a contract, he was most surprised his former general manager would look his way in free agency. With reports indicating the Giants’ interest in Byron Jones, star corner for the Dallas Cowboys, and now Miami Dolphins, Bradberry was left as second-pickings.

However, he was caught by surprise and earned a three-year, $43.5 million deal in the process.

“Honestly, he reached out to my agent. I really didn’t talk to (Dave) Gettleman. They came out of nowhere and made an offer, I didn’t even expect them to make an offer. He already knew the type of guy I was, and I already knew the type of guy he was. I already knew what type of organization he was trying to build over there in New York. I knew it was nothing but positive.”

The Giants replaced former corner Janoris Jenkins with Bradberry, which on paper seems to be an improvement. Comparing the two, Jenkins posted lofty missed tackle rates over the past two seasons, missing 17.6% of his tackles in 2018 and 14.3% in 2019 over 13 games with the Giants.

He also allowed three touchdowns last season while Bradberry allowed just one, but did post a slightly better completion percentage against at 53.8% with Big Blue compared to Bradberry with a 59.8% completion rate with Carolina.

An interesting fact

Interestingly, Jenkins was targeted just 88 times in coverage while Bradberry was targeted 97 times, allowing 58 completions. This would indicate that James is lining up against opposing number one wide-outs. This is true based on the elite status of the players he faces off against on a yearly basis. He will face far less quality in the NFC East, aside from the Cowboys who recently drafted CeeDee Lamb and already having Amari Cooper.

Twice per season, Bradberry was forced to face off against Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans. Bradberry often shadows top targets on opposing offenses, which would attest to the high target totals he experiences yearly. He also enjoyed three interceptions last season, which is higher than any previous year.

Overall, the former Panther showed an elevation in most categories last season, justifying his contract with the Giants. Gettleman and Co. have made it a priority to sign free agents to three-year deals, front-loading contracts to give them flexibility after the second year. Bradberry earned $32 million guaranteed, but will only count $3 million dead cap in 2022, giving the Giants a way out just in case.

New York Giants: Is James Bradberry an upgrade over Janoris Jenkins?

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

The New York Giants’ defense struggled in 2019, especially after they cut Janoris Jenkins for the comments he made towards a fan on social media. The fight started on Twitter, Jenkins posted his stat line for the 2019 season, four interceptions and 45 solo tackles. One fan wrote back that they were irrelevant.

Jenkins replied with:

“I can only do my job,” followed by the word “retard.”

The New York Giants’ secondary couldn’t cover a slot receiver to save their lives in 2019! In free agency, the Giants made moves to fix the secondary with the addition of former Carolina Panthers corner, James Bradberry. This is a former Dave Gettleman draft pick from 2016. When Bradberry heard the breaking news, he said he had no idea he was heading to New York. 

“Honestly, he reached out to my agent. I really didn’t talk to (Dave) Gettleman. They came out of nowhere and made an offer, I didn’t even expect them to make an offer. He already knew the type of guy I was, and I already knew the type of guy he was. I already knew what type of organization he was trying to build over there in New York. I knew it was nothing but positive.”

James Bradberry 2019 stats

In 2019, Bradberry started in 15 games, recorded three interceptions and 51 solo tackles. As you can see, Bradberry’s numbers were very similar to Jenkins’s numbers in 2019. I think having a guy like Bradberry is huge for the Giants because he can cover the number one receiver and cover him anywhere he goes on the field. On multiple occasions, Bradberry was seen following a receiver into the slot, this is something the Giants need because they can never cover small slot receivers like Cole Beasley.

Bradberry went up against some of the top receivers in the league in 2019 and also put up some great stat lines. The NFC South is no easy division, Bradberry faced off against Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and Julio Jones twice last season. A guy like Bradberry has a few years under his belt, and facing this competition really is a promising sign for the Giants. I think he is a huge upgrade over Jenkins because Jenkins was primarily an outside corner. With the addition of Bradberry, he can cover a team’s number one receiver in the slot and also spread out wide. The man can do it all, it will be interesting to see what the Giants have in store for him in 2020.

Did the New York Giants really upgrade their secondary? Here’s a look

New York Giants, James Bradberry

Taking a look at the New York Giants‘ secondary and if they really took a step forward this offseason.

The Giants entered this off-season with one essential goal, upgrade the secondary and ensure the pass rush had support in 2020. Replacing Janoris Jenkins was a necessity after being cut later on in the season. Finding a new number one corner would be expensive and complicated, considering the competition for players like Byron Jones in free agency. Ultimately, the Giants passed on Jones, who inevitably signed with the Miami Dolphins, allocating resources toward former Carolina Panther James Bradberry instead.

Comparing Jenkins to Bradberry:

Jenkins has been a consistent corner for the Giants over the past two years but losing began to take its toll. In 13 games last season, Jenkins recorded a 53.8% completion rate against, 503 yards allowed, and three touchdowns. His 14.3% missed tackle rate ballooned in 2019. While he was solid in coverage and only really allowed a completion half of the time, there were plays that he took off and tackles he failed to make.

This is what resulted in him getting cut by the Giants, leaving a void in the secondary for general manager Dave Gettleman to fill.

Bradberry, who signed a three-year, $45 million contract with the Giants this off-season, played in 15 games for the Panthers in 2019. At 26 years old, he posted 12 passes defended, a 59.8% completion rate, 644 yards allowed, and one touchdown. His ability in coverage was solid, and his low touchdown numbers were stellar.

Two years ago, Bradberry posted a 44.2% completion rate, one of the lowest in the NFL. Despite his impressive numbers in coverage, he allowed six touchdowns, which was slashed by five this past season. Clearly, he adapted and lowered his touchdown totals, which may have resulted in being a little bit more conservative in coverage. If he can put those two categories together and play at a high-level, Bradberry can be better than Jenkins and ultimately restore the number one corner position for the New York Giants.

How about the rest of the secondary?

The rest of the secondary is relatively young, but the Giants have invested plenty of capital in young corners and safeties. After a recent interview with the defender Julian Love, he expressed his confidence in playing free safety. His comfort in the defensive backfield and adaptation in 2019 allows him to play there in the future if the Giants see him in that role.

With Love, Cory Ballentine, and DeAndre Baker all entering their second year in the NFL, I anticipate a substantial jump from all three, which would increase the production of the secondary exponentially.

Gettleman may invest in a free safety in the NFL draft — a player like Antoine Winfield Jr. is a talented prospect, but they should be confident that Love can hold down the spot. This would also imply that Grant Haley and Ballentine would feature as the slot corner and continue to develop there.

Could the New York Giants draft Jeff Okudah with the 4th overall pick?

New York Giants, Jeff Okudah

The departure of Janoris Jenkins in the latter portion of the 2020 season poses a challenge for the New York Giants this offseason. Do they stick with DeAndre Baker and a slew of younger options in the secondary, or do they allocate some of their available caps-pace towards a player like Logan Ryan or Byron Jones to feature as the team’s No. 1 corner?

There is an alternative, and while some might stray away from this train of thought, Ohio State standout corner, Jeff Okudah, could be a fantastic option for the Giants with the 4th overall selection.

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Okudah is a 6-1, 200-pound corner that has exception man-coverage abilities and contains some of the quickest feet in college. With a severe void in the secondary, Okudah represents a long-term solution at cornerback alongside Baker, who isn’t ready to hold down the top spot yet.

The New York Giants can land a top-tier defender in Okudah:

The Ohio State CB is a tenacious player, crowding early routes and forcing opposing pass-catchers to adapt to his style of play and not the other way around. He makes route-running problematic and can stick on to the hip of receivers like white on rice. One of his most significant developments has been his ball-skills, as he racked up three interceptions last season, along with nine passes defended.

While Baker was primarily an on-ball cover-corner in college, he struggled massively in 2019 with off-ball coverage. Okudah is versed in both and can quickly develop into an NFL cornerback, which is often the negative side to selecting corners early in the draft. The adaptation period is usually the longest when it comes to CBs.

One of the most exciting aspects of Okudah is that he can play on an island. His fantastic vertical speed and transition abilities allow him to match up one V one in coverage, essentially taking the opposing team’s top receiver out of the game. He has an NFL comparison of Jalen Ramsey.

Can the New York Giants rely on DeAndre Baker in 2020?

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

When the New York Giants moved up in the 2019 NFL draft to grab cornerback, DeAndre Baker, they expected him to develop quickly into their top option. His rookie season was a bit more tumultuous than most would have hoped, and after the departure of Janoris Jenkins due to ethical concerns, Baker did step up considerably.

The Giants’ secondary has completely turned over since the 2018 season when they traded Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints. With Jenkins heading a similar route, Baker has been thrust into the number one corner position. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if general manager Dave Gettleman went out and signed a premium talent at the spot.

The New York Giants are extremely thin in the defensive backfield:

Big Blue also has supplemental draft pick, Sam Beal, who remains a mystery after limited action in 2019. Early reports don’t view him as a starting option for the Giants moving forward, but there is plenty of time for him to continue progressing and refining his abilities. The Giants will enter the 2020 off-season with at least $70 million in cap space, opening up the door for a potential free-agent signing that would put Baker in the number two slot, where he is better off in his sophomore season.

Interestingly, Baker only allowed one touchdown in his 4-year career at Georgia, which amassEd 1019 coverage snaps.

During his senior season, Baker was arguably the best corner in the country, recording two interceptions, nine pass breakups, and a 29.3 forced incompletion percentage while allowing a minimal 40.2 pass a rating to opposing quarterbacks.

While DeAndre did struggle last season, cornerbacks often take more time to adapt to the NFL level. The physicality and speed of the game trump the collegiate level by a large margin, which ultimately puts Baker at a disadvantage right out of the gate. The experience you gain from his rookie season should benefit him ten times over in year two, and we should expect to see him take a significant jump after grading out as one of the worst corners in the league.

New York Giants: Janoris Jenkins Headed To New Orleans Saints

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

It didn’t take long for former New York Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins to find a new home on a better team. Jenkins, of course, was waived by the Giants following a series of controversies, with tensions growing as he made various remarks about the team’s performance and then hitting an apex when Jenkins found himself arguing with fans on Twitter.

He served as the top cornerback for the Giants for most of the season, but with tension as high as it was between Jenkins and the team and the fanbase, it’s not surprising that he didn’t make it through the end of the season. It’s also not surprising that Jenkins, who has played well this season according to most metrics, was able to move up and find his way to a better team, in this case the New Orleans Saints.

The Saints are 11-3 right now, a reversal of the Giants’ three win record, and this would be the second time that they take a player from the New York Giants secondary – the first time this happened, of course, was when the Saints traded for cornerback Eli Apple, who has since improved his performances after moving away from the Giants.

By now most fans are tired of the Janoris Jenkins saga, with the rumors of the Giants wanting to get rid of Jenkins having started all the way before the beginning of this season. But Jenkins’ performance may be worth keeping an eye on. Whether or not Jenkins sees an improvement in performance after leaving the Giants may say something one way or another about how the coaching staff has been handling the secondary.

The Giants will have to replace Jenkins soon and there’s no word on who will step in as the main cornerback – there are in-house options, but none on quite the same level. Of course, with only a couple of games left in the season, these questions won’t seriously be asked until the offseason.

New York Giants: It’s Unknown Territory For The Secondary

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

The New York Giants secondary could be in for a long year in 2020 – they came into the league as one of the youngest, following an offseason where the Giants drafted DeAndre Baker, Corey Ballentine, and Julian Love in addition to getting Sam Beal back from various injuries which had kept him from making his NFL debut during his rookie season. Eli Apple and Landon Collins are gone and Janoris Jenkins was supposed to be the veteran leader to help show these players the ropes.

Jenkins is now off the team after his outspokenness caught up to him, although his most recent controversy isn’t the only reason why he was waived. Jenkins had been on the trading block the whole season up until the trade deadline – many believed that Jenkins getting traded might as well be a done deal, even though nothing came of it in the end with the Leonard Williams deal being the only one made by the Giants around the time of deadline day.

The player had been the subject of speculation since even last year. He didn’t help himself by highlighting his own statistics despite the terrible record of the team and the fact that the Giants haven’t been able to get wins during his best individual performances. Now that the differences between the two sides grew to be too great and Jenkins was released, however, the Giants are left without something they desperately need – a leader for the young secondary.

“Rabbit was more like a coach than just a teammate. He didn’t have to stand there and coach me up as a rookie at practice. He didn’t have to tell me to sit by him at meetings, but he did,” Sam Beal told the New York Daily News. “He made me come over in the meeting room and sit by him just because he’d coach me up.”

He said that Jenkins being released was tough for him.

“Even this offseason I’m gonna try to get with him and figure out where he’s working so he can keep coaching me up.”

Beal isn’t the only member of the secondary that might suddenly find themselves without a leader – DeAndre Baker has been criticized a lot for his play this season but will be under even more pressure now that Jenkins won’t be playing opposite of him. It used to be clear that Jenkins was the number one cornerback and Baker was the number two. The arrangement, however, may as well have been scrapped completely.

The breakup between Jenkins and the Giants had to happen, but don’t think that the secondary will start improving just yet – the departure of Jenkins without getting anything in return, which could have happened if the Giants traded Jenkins at the deadline rather than waiting for things to break down further, has simply made the secondary a bigger need than it was before.

There’s a lot of raw younger players in that position group and only one question left at this point: who will be brought in to lead them?

New York Giants: 3 free agent cornerbacks to replace Janoris Jenkins

New York Jets, Logan Ryan, Tennessee Titans

With the New York Giants waiving veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Friday morning after sending a profound Tweet to a fan and refusing to apologize for his use of “slang,” a gaping hole in the secondary has formed.

Jenkins was the No. 1 corner for the Giants and has been relatively consistent since his addition in 2016. Several problematical actions this season and during a tumultuous 2017 campaign (Ben McAdoo era) have finally led to his exclusion from a rebuild that’s bleeding at the seams.

General manager Dave Gettleman has made focusing on their youth a priority, considering the lack of success the team has had over the past two seasons. Now, heading into 2020, Gettleman must find a way to supplement the loss of Jenkins, as throwing DeAndre Baker into the fire is not a preferred scenario.

Here are three cornerbacks the New York Giants can invest in:

1.) Chris Harris (31)

Harris is one of the better corners in the NFL, racking up 46 tackles and one interception over 13 games this season. This year, however, has been downward trending, as he currently has a 70.2 overall grade, per PFF. In 2018, he racked up three interceptions, and 10 passes defended, far surpassing his numbers from the current campaign.

Considering his unproductive 2019 season, the Giants might be able to secure him on a salary-cap friendly deal. As friendly as a quality cornerback can be.

2.) Logan Ryan (29)

At just 29-years-old, Logan Ryan is a stellar option for the Giants in free agency. His 94 tackles, four sacks, and seven QB hits make him a multi-faceted corner than can be a threat at corner. Factor in his four interceptions and two forced fumbles and the Giants are looking at one of the best all-around corners in football, but it will take a lot of money to lure him to a defense littered with youth and inexperience.

I estimate a player of Ryan’s abilities will earn upwards of $15 million per season, but the Giants have the cap-space to spare.

3.) Jimmy Smith (32)

The oldest of the trio, Smith, is another quality player on a great defense led by Ravens’ Don Martindale. Smith has missed six games this year and is graded a smidge below Chris Harris at 70.1.

However, he has been a force in the secondary for quite some time and might be a great value pickup for the Giants, considering his experience and leadership. He’s the type of player that elevates his teammates, something Janoris Jenkins was void of during his tenure with the Giants.

The days of Smith being a lockdown corner might be over, but he’s a capable player that can supplement Jenkins’ departure.

The Giants Have Finally Reached Rock Bottom

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

It’s official. The New York Giants have finally reached rock bottom. Or, at least we hope.

One would think that they can’t possibly get any lower after news of the latest puzzling episode out at the Quest Diagnostic Training Center involving the dismissal of veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins.

Jenkins, if you haven’t heard, used the word “retard” in a tweet and then doubled down on the usage of the word claiming it was culturally acceptable where he comes from. Giants beat writers (and many others) tried to give Jenkins an out but he refused to take it.

As a result, the Giants cut ties with Jenkins on Friday.

“This was an organizational decision,” coach Pat Shurmur said in a statement released by the team. “From ownership to management to our football operations, we felt it was in the best interests of the franchise and the player. Obviously, what happened this week, and the refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language, was the determining factor.”

That was only one of the issues the Giants had with Jenkins. He apparently sent that tweet from the practice field. He was not practicing this week because he injured his ankle in Monday night’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. That, supposedly, is why he had his phone on his person outside of the locker room. A clear breach of team rules and a direct sale in the face to this coaching staff and front office.

The swiftness and severity of the discipline is a sign that general manager Dave Gettleman and Shurmur are tired of the lack of dedication by some of the veterans. Jenkins was supposed to be a leader in the locker room this year and a mentor to the youngsters in the Giants’ secondary, but both his performance on and off the field has shown that the team overestimated him.

The 31 year-old Jenkins had one more season on his contract and his $14.75 million cap hit for 2020 made him a likely candidate to be released after this season. The Giants will incur a $3.5 million dead cap charge next year as a result of this move.

It is another black eye on a franchise that has sustained a beating the past seven years. Giant fans who are wondering when they’d bottom out, hopefully this is it.

New York Giants waive veteran cornerback Janoris Jenkins

New York Giants, Janoris Jenkins

The New York Giants waived starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins on Friday morning after speculative comments made during the week. After interacting with a fan via Twitter and using a derogatory word, head coach Pat Shurmur spoke with the defender regarding his actions.

Jenkins didn’t seem to care for Shurmur’s opinion, virtually begging to be cut after numerous losing seasons and tough outings this year. The Giants will now move in a different direction at the position, with first-round pick Deandre Baker and Supplemental Draft pick Sam Beal both fighting to earn starting roles.

Losing Jenkins will surely hurt the defense, but the Giants have not set a standard for discipline, letting players run rampant and say inauspicious things without consequence.

General manager Dave Gettleman finally made the decision to make an example of someone. Unfortunately, it had to be one of the best defenders on the team.

After Jenkins was released, he once again took to Twitter to say a less than meaningful goodbye to his former team.