The James Bradberry crisis is over.
Giants general manager Joe Schoen has finally come to peace with the fact he won’t be able to trade the cornerback and has released him, according to The Athletic. Bradberry’s exit frees up a little over $10 million in desperately-needed salary cap space.
It feels safe to say Schoen misplayed the Bradberry situation (and put the screws to the Pro Bowler by waiting this long into the offseason). It made sense to try to trade him initially, and letting $2 million of his salary guarantee early on was worth the risk. But it was became obvious weeks ago the Giants were never going to get a deal for him and his $13.4 million salary in 2022.
The entire league knew Schoen needed the cap space and would eventually have to cut Bradberry. So why give up any assets for him and then take on the full check? It became a waiting game for any interested team. And now they will be able to act.
So what will the Giants do at cornerback? Adoree Jackson is the new No. 1 corner. Aaron Robinson could be a candidate to move outside after a solid rookie season. There is also the possibility to make an Isaac Yiadom-esque pickup during training camp. But no one should expect a big move here. The Giants are going to need every penny of the now-free cap space to sign their draft class and have a sufficient in-season rainy day fund.
The Giants have now dumped Bradberry and Logan Ryan for absolutely nothing in return this offseason. Even if Xavier McKinney takes a big step forward, the secondary is thin and lacking in proven production. Plus an iffy linebackers corps and a still-developing pass rush. The defense will likely struggle. And the offense has a revamped line, a lame-duck quarterback and a less-than-inspiring array of receivers. This is going to be a very bad football team in 2022.
James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]