Joe Schoen did not walk into the best financial situation in New York.
Since-retired general manager Dave Gettleman spent without an eye on the future, and the bill came due this offseason. Unfortunately, that meant that Schoen's Giants have had to part ways with a handful of veterans. It appears that group will soon include cornerback James Bradberry.
Schoen spoke Wednesday on the situation regarding Bradberry, who seems to be headed toward a release by Big Blue.
"We should have some resolution hopefully by the end of the week," Schoen said, via NJ.com. "It's unfortunate because he's a great kid."
Schoen wisely waited as long as he realistically could before making a decision on Bradberry, who has plenty of value as a quality corner but also carries a $21.86 million cap number into 2022. That number makes Bradberry staying with the Giants -- a team that figures to be roughly $7 million over the cap after signing rookie deals -- financially prohibitive.
Schoen bided his time while waiting for interested clubs to call the Giants and make an offer for Bradberry, a cornerback who proved to be a Pro Bowl-caliber defender in 2020 and isn't yet 30 years old. The Giants GM didn't get much traction, though, as most teams knew New York couldn't afford to keep Bradberry and would eventually be forced to release him.
"Yeah, I was (surprised)," Schoen said. "I thought there would be more interest. 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."
A post-June 1 designation for release would save New York around $11 million in cap space while pushing the remaining $10 million to the team's dead cap total for 2022, which currently stands at $20.66 million. The potential savings makes this decision easy for Schoen, even if he's willingly releasing a talented player.
"He's a starting corner in the league," Schoen added. "It's just where we are financially."
Schoen isn't going to put the Giants in a great financial spot overnight, but he appears to be off to a hot start thanks to a draft class that included the additions of Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux and Alabama tackle Evan Neal in the first round. He's building where it matters most, and before long, the younger Giants won't be in as bad of a situation financially.
As for Bradberry, we'll wait for his release to actually happen before projecting where he might land. He'll certainly be pursued.