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A former NFL Pro Bowl cornerback is now looking for a job ahead of the 2022 season.
The New York Giants have released James Bradberry in an apparent salary cap move after failing to find a trade partner for him, the team announced Monday.
Bradberry, 28, who totaled seven interceptions in two seasons in New York, was the first Giants cornerback selected to the Pro Bowl since Janoris Jenkins in 2016.
The move comes as the Giants have new leadership this year, with the signing of Joe Schoen as general manager and Brian Daboll as head coach.
Last Wednesday, Schoen stated on WFAN Sports Radio that he had attempted to find a trade partner this year for Bradberry, but was surprised at the lack of interest.
“I thought there would be more interest,” Schoen said. “There were teams that showed interest pre-draft, and we had a couple different times there was compensation in place and the contract never worked out … sometimes if you’re going to renegotiate a contract, and you couldn’t come to an agreement, it is what it is.”
“He’s a starting corner in the league,” the general manager added, via NJ.com. “It’s just where we are financially.”
Bradberry was carrying a $21.8 million salary cap charge for 2022, and his release will save the team about $10.1 million against the cap this season. The Giants needed the savings so they could sign their 11-person draft class, and use the additional money for transactions during the season.
But the move leaves the Giants without one of their more productive players on defense.
Bradberry was their top cornerback last season earning 47 tackles, four interceptions, 17 passes defended, and two forced fumbles. In 2020, he made the Pro Bowl after netting 54 tackles, three interceptions, and 18 passes defended – his career-high for a single season.
Bradberry had been paired with veteran cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who will likely take over the reins as the team’s No. 1 cornerback. New York also has second-year corner Aaron Robinson on the roster, and they selected LSU defensive back Cor’Dale Flott in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
The Giants could also sign another cornerback before the season.
Bradberry spent his first four seasons in the NFL with Carolina after the Panthers selected him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Samford University. The Giants signed him to a three-year deal in the 2020 offseason.
Bradberry has 82 passes defended, 15 interceptions, and 380 tackles during his career in the league.