Giants release veteran CB James Bradberry after two seasons

The New York Giants informed James Bradberry of his release, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday, per a source. The team later confirmed the news.

The news comes a week after Giants general manager Joe Schoen said that the team was likely going to have to let go of the cornerback and that he expected Bradberry's fate to be decided within the next few days.

Bradberry was a consistent and valuable starter for New York in his two years with the franchise, but the overindulgent spending of the previous GM, Dave Gettleman, meant that the Giants had to sacrifice a few veteran players this offseason to offset costs, with Bradberry becoming the latest casualty. Bradberry was set to carry a $21.86 million cap number into 2022, and with New York then expected to sit over $7 million over the cap after signing its newest draft picks, the 28-year-old's value as a quality corner unfortunately became secondary to the cap space that would be cleared by letting him go.

"He's a starting corner in the league," Schoen said. "It's just where we are financially."

The Giants had been trying to avoid releasing Bradberry, hoping to find a team willing to make a trade for the cornerback and offload some of the money. But while Schoen said some calls were made, the financial aspects of the deal would have been difficult to maneuver, as Bradberry was due $13.5 million in 2022 that the other team would have had to work around with their own cap issues in mind.

And more than anything else, most teams knew the position New York was in, and that if no trade materialized, the Giants would have no choice but to release him.

By releasing Bradberry, New York created immediate savings of $11.5 million in cash and $10.1 million in 2022 cap space, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported.

Bradberry started his career in Carolina, spending four years with the Panthers and leading the team in passes defensed in each of those seasons. After signing with New York in 2020, Bradberry proved himself a top-tier defender, becoming the first Giants cornerback to be named to the Pro Bowl since 2016. Bradberry continued this elite performance in 2021, becoming one of the best corners in the league. In two years in New York, he compiled 100 tackles (80 solo), 35 passes defensed, four interceptions, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He missed only one game over that span, showing consistency and talent that will certainly make him an appealing target for multiple other teams.

Now, with it known that Bradberry's future does not lie with the Giants, the next question is which team will be lucky enough to sign the star cornerback.

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