James Bradberry update: he WILL be traded, per sources here at The Breakers. And here are teams to watch: https://t.co/nFmquqAz0u— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) March 27, 2022
Originally a 2016 second round pick of the Carolina Panthers, the 6’1”, 212 pound cornerback (with 33” arms) just finished his second season with the Giants. Athletically, he has those long arms that the Colts typically covet at cornerback (in the 96% NFL percentile).
He recorded 47 tackles (37 solo), 4 interceptions, 17 passes defensed, and 2 fumble recoveries during 17 games (16 starts) in 2021. From that perspective, he also has the ability to generate takeaways—which is one of the top priorities of the Colts defense.
Per PFF (subscription), this past season, Bradberry was their 58th best graded cornerback last season with a +62.8 grade overall. Specifically, in coverage, he was targeted 92 times for 60 receptions (65.2% completion rate), 729 receiving yards (12.2 ypr. avg.), 8 touchdown receptions, 4 interceptions, and an opposing passer rating of 100.3.
He was a Pro Bowler for the Giants in 2020.
The acquiring team for the 28 year old cornerback absorbs a $13.5M cap hit in 2022, so he’s certainly not cheap—but he’s not exorbitantly pricey either, if a team firmly believes it can get him covering at a Pro Bowl caliber level again like two seasons ago.
Of course, the Colts could use an impact veteran starting cornerback again, as the team surprisingly traded soon-to-be third-year starting cornerback Rock Ya-Sin, who had played really good football down the 2021 stretch, while veteran free agents Xavier Rhodes and T.J. Carrie appear unlikely to be re-signed.
It’s a Colts cornerback unit that currently needs another quality option in the mix.
From that standpoint, Bradberry makes sense, but at this current salary, the acquiring team has to hope he can largely regain his prior 2020 form to justify the incoming 2022 cap hit.