One of the perks of making the playoffs last season and having a talented core in place is that the Jacksonville Jaguars will be an attractive destination for free agents this offseason. Although the Jags will focus on trying to re-sign their own players this offseason, Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report thinks they should target cornerback James Bradberry in the open market.
Ballentine matched some of the top players set to be free agents with their best potential fit and he thinks Jacksonville would be the ideal landing spot for Bradberry. Ballentine argues that Bradberry, who signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles last year, benefited from playing opposite Darious Slay in 2023 and notes that he would have a similar role with the Jaguars.
"Bradberry benefitted from playing behind the best pass rush and across from another good corner in Darius Slay. His running mate is a little smaller and more agile, leaving Bradberry to get more favorable matchups against the bigger, stronger receivers from the other side.The Jacksonville Jaguars have a similar setup. They were fourth in the league in pressure percentage with Travon Walker and Josh Allen forming a formidable young duo on the edge. Tyson Campbell is CB1 after finishing seventh in PFF grade among all corners. They are $18.9 million over the cap but cutting Shaquill Griffin alone frees up $13.1 million."
A second-round pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2016, Bradberry signed a three-year deal worth $45 million with the New York Giants in 2020 but was released last offseason. He then latch on with the Philadelphia Eagles and went on to have an All-Pro campaign.
The Jacksonville Jaguars might not be the best fit for James Bradberry
Bradberry would give the Jaguars’ cornerback room a boost but they would also need to fork over a boatload of money. He’s previously stated that he would like to play for a contender, so Jacksonville makes sense. On the other hand, he also made it clear that he wants to get paid, “I don’t want to play for cheap“.
Given that Bradberry is coming off a career year, it’s only fair that he asks for a top-market contract. Even though he registered just one interception, he allowed a completion rate of 46.0 and posted a Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 80.2 last season. This is why teams interested won’t mind paying a premium for him in the open market. Just don’t expect the Jaguars to be in that group.
The Jaguars have done a good job of getting under the cap. They now have a bit over $16 million after reworking a handful of contracts and signing defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris and running back JaMycal Hasty to new deals. However, it’s hard to see Jacksonville make a bid for Bradberry. Their number one priority remains to keep tight end Evan Engram and bringing him back will eat up a good chunk of their cap space.
Moreover, the Jags already have a pair of outside corners in Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams. What they need is someone to line up in the slot, and Bradberry has mostly played in the boundaries throughout his career, so Jacksonville might not be his best landing spot after all.
Cornerback sits at the top of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ to-do list but they’re better off selecting one (or two) in the 2023 NFL Draft rather than making a heavy investment in Bradberry.