Eagles can expect James Bradberry to ball out and do so inexpensively

James Bradberry #24, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
James Bradberry #24, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

It’s taken some of us a little longer than others, but as we close the book on June and enter July, our staff at Inside The Iggles is ready to breathe a sigh of relief. We know we saw the Philadelphia Eagles add some underrated but premier talent via free agency’s wire, beginning in March with Haason Reddick and carrying that trend well into May and June with the acquisitions of James Bradberry and Jaquiski Tartt. Still, we were afraid to pinch ourselves.

Why? It’s simple actually. We felt like we were smack dab in the middle of a dream, one that we didn’t want anyone to wake us up from. Yes, it sounds ridiculous to say such, but it’s true.

The Birds have added Zach Pascal at wide receiver, a better version of J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, an upgrade so to speak. They’ve got some great young talent at linebacker. They’ve only added to that room by adding Kyzir White and drafting Kyron Johnson and Nakobe Dean.

That Dean fella is expected to contribute early as is his former teammate at Georgia with the Bulldogs, Jordan Davis. Can you see why we thought this was a dream and why we didn’t want to be awakened? It feels like we hit the lottery over and over again.

Let’s back up some because we can feel another adrenaline rush coming, and we’re trying to stay calm here. Let’s talk about Bradberry. First, because his signing seemingly came out of nowhere and, second, because every time we look at his deal, we can’t help but scratch our heads and wonder how vice president/general manager Howie Roseman got this done so inexpensively.

James Bradberry’s deal mentioned as one of the four best-valued at his position.

If you would have wagered at the beginning of the most recent offseason that the Eagles would have landed James Bradberry in May and they would have done so by simply opening the purse for $7.25 million, you would have won a ton of bets, but that’s exactly what they were able to do.

A Pro Bowler in 2020, Bradberry was said to have an off-year by his standards and show some minor signs of regression, yet he still started 16 of the New York Giants’ 17 games and wound up with 47 tackles, two fumble recoveries, 17 pass breakups, and four interceptions.

Big Blue, having massive holes all over their roster and seeing a need to do some ‘addition by subtraction’, elected to move on from their star corner on May 9th. Philly moved swiftly and inked him to a deal nine days later. How they did so and did it so inexpensively is something we might talk about all season.

Some NFL minds have already started. CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin labels his deal as one of the four top bargains for an NFL player at a premium position. Stephon Gilmore, Mike Hilton, and Levi Wallace are the owners of the other three. Here’s what Benjamin had to say on the subject.

"A whopping 30 corners average more per year than Bradberry, a one-year flyer coming from the rival Giants. Even if he hits his $2.5M in incentives, he’ll be a reasonable gamble as a former Pro Bowler to plug in opposite Darius Slay."

Again, that’s hard to imagine, but here’s where the Eagles and their fans both win. The organization has added one of the game’s best at his position. The deal is for one year. Again, it carries a value of $7.25 million, so he’s playing with thoughts of landing a big extension on what’s a contract season.

Having Darius Slay as a teammate probably means that he’ll see every opposing offense’s second-best receiver in man-to-man situations. The knowledge that James Bradberry has something to prove means the Eagles are going to get his best effort in every contest.

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Sure, we all spoke of the possibility of the Birds swooping in (pun intended) and nabbing James when he was released, but we obsess over available talent all of the time. Often, it leads to nothing. We didn’t actually think we’d believe that Philly had a shot at lading him until we saw it happen. Well, it has, and this should be fun.

Forget what you’ve heard. The Eagles have the best cornerback tandem that they have had in a long time.