New York Giants notified James Bradbury of his release, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, according to the source. The team confirmed the news later.
The news comes a week after Giants general manager Joe Schoen said the team will likely have to give up the corner kick and that he expects Bradbury’s fate to be decided within the next few days.
Bradbury has had a steady and valuable start for New York in his two years with the franchise, but the ex-GM’s excessive spending, Dave Gittleman, has meant the Giants have had to sacrifice some veteran players this off-season to make up for the costs, with Bradbury becoming the latest casualty. Bradbury was set to carry a cap figure of $21.86 million in 2022, and with New York then expecting more than $7 million to sit on the cap after signing the latest draft pick, the 28-year-old’s value as a quality pillar is secondary. Unfortunately for the cover space that will be cleared up by letting him go.
“It’s a cornerstone of the league,” Schoen said. “It’s just where we are financially.”
The Giants have been trying to avoid Bradbury’s release, hoping to find a team willing to make a deal at quarterback and dump some cash. But while Schoen said some calls had been made, the financial aspects of the deal were difficult to maneuver, with Bradbury due to be owed $13.5 million in 2022 that the other team had to resolve with his cap issues in mind.
More than anything, most teams knew the location of New York, and that if the trade did not materialize, the Giants would have no choice but to release him.
NFL Network’s Tom Pellisero reports through the release of Bradbury, that New York generated immediate savings of $11.5 million in cash and $10.1 million in the 2022 space.
Bradbury began his career in the Carolinas, spending four years with the Panthers and leading the team in defensive passes in each of those seasons. After signing with New York in 2020, Bradbury has established himself as a top-tier defender, becoming the first Giants cornerback to be named to the Pro Bowl since 2016. Bradbury continued this outstanding performance in 2021, becoming one of the best kicks in the league. In his two years in New York, he’s accumulated 100 tackles (80 singles), 35 defensive passes, four interceptions, two forced trips, and three tripped rebounds. He only missed one game during that time, showing consistency and talent that will surely make him an attractive target for many other teams.
Now, with Bradbury’s future not resting with the Giants, the next question is which team will be lucky enough to sign the star-back corner.