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.