James Bradberry has always been about production on the football field. He's been a starting cornerback in all of his six NFL seasons. In 2020, he was a Pro Bowl selection. In 2021, Bradberry recorded a career-high four interceptions and two fumble recoveries and added 17 passes defensed. He was in Carolina for four seasons and then with the Giants for two years.
And now he's an Eagle.
Bradberry and the team agreed to terms on a one-year contract on Wednesday morning, bringing to Philadelphia a high-level cornerback to team with Darius Slay on the outside and Avonte Maddox on the inside, along with a group of promising young players developing as the Eagles continue their offseason program.
Bradberry, 28, was a second-round draft pick by the Panthers in 2016 after a collegiate career at Samford, and at 6-1, 212 pounds has good size and strength. He was an instant-impact player for the Panthers, for whom he started all 60 games he played in four seasons. Carolina allowed Bradberry to enter free agency in 2020 and he promptly signed a three-year deal with the Giants.
In New York, Bradberry recorded seven interceptions and 35 passes defensed in the 32 games he started and was a tough matchup for every receiver with his skills, savvy, and toughness. The 2020 season ended with Bradberry in the Pro Bowl with a performance that, according to Pro Football Focus, made him one of the top five players at his position in the league: According to PFF, Bradberry was targeted 78 times, allowing 44 catches for 454 yards to go along with three interceptions and 14 passes defended.
As the Eagles did in 2021 season when they signed veteran Steven Nelson as Training Camp opened, patience paid off as the defense adds a highly rated and experienced player to one of the game's most critical positions. General Manager Howie Roseman has said repeatedly throughout the offseason that he would be aggressive hoping to add to the roster, and when Bradberry was released by the Giants he immediately gained notice on the Eagles' radar – likely, Bradberry was on the radar far earlier as New York tried to trade the veteran prior to making the move.
Philadelphia waited until the two sides came to terms and now the secondary adds a big piece to the defensive puzzle.
The Eagles will continue to develop their young cornerbacks, of course, but teaming Bradberry with Slay on the outside and Maddox at the nickel position gives Philadelphia an experienced, accomplished, and versatile grouping of front-line cornerbacks. The defense adds another piece to continue an offseason upgrade that has included additions like pass-rushing linebacker Haason Reddick, linebacker Kyzir White, and a 2022 Rookie Class that includes first-round pick defensive tackle Jordan Davis and third-round pick linebacker Nakobe Dean.