The New York Giants had their struggles in free agency under team general manager Dave Gettleman. He misjudged on several players who were considered easy market buys. However, Gettleman may have hit a free agent home run with the signing of James Bradberry last off-season.
James Bradberry Is a Free Agent Home Run for the New York Giants
Free agency is a tricky get-rich-quick scheme as you can immediately fix holes on your roster but rarely does a team gain long-term solutions to their problems. The Giants were desperate to replace Janoris Jenkins and Bradberry was the perfect candidate to provide veteran leadership in defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s defensive backfield unit.
New York Giants Cornerback James Bradberry Is a Free Agent Home Run
Giants Secondary Has Been a Glowing Light
No question, the Giants secondary has been a glowing light in an utter-wise dismal start to the 2020 season. Bradberry has been a calming on-field voice for a very young, inexperienced unit. This group desperately needed a mentor. The veteran cornerback has effortlessly guided them through the first four weeks of the season.
The lineup suffered tough losses (Sam Beal and DeAndre Baker) prior to the start of training camp. Their absences range from opting out of the season due to coronavirus pandemic concerns to a well-publicized off-the-field issue. This left a tremendous void in the backfield unit. Graham did an outstanding job to find internal solutions to play various roles in different pass coverage situations.
Rookie Darnay Holmes has shined the brightest, but he still has a ways to go in his development. Holmes opened some eyes with an impressive training camp that gained him a role in the Giants’ nickel package scheme. Giants head coach Joe Judge loved Holmes’ physicality and willingness to learn his trade during practice each day. Yes, there will be bumps and bruises, but Holmes is gaining valuable on-field experience in becoming a quality three-down defender.
Gettleman Was Wise to Reunite With Bradberry
It was a wise decision by Gettleman to reunite with his former second-round draft pick. During their time together with the Carolina Panthers, Gettleman tabbed Bradberry as the replacement for Josh Norman in the defensive starting lineup.
What is there not to like as Bradberry is a versatile defender who is good against runs to the outside and possesses shutdown pass defending skills. Plus, durability has been another key to his success. Bradberry has missed only one game due to injury in his five-year NFL career.
On the field, he has an uncanny knack of consistently being around the football. That could mean assisting with tackling a would-be runner, swatting an attempted pass away, or making a key interception that changes the momentum in the game.
Usually, Bradberry’s assignment is lining up across the league’s top receivers as he has the speed to stay with them in man coverage deep downfield. But, the talented corner will have his hands fill in the coming weeks.
The Giants play the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals, and Cleveland Browns. All have quality receiving corps that will challenge the Giants secondary. You won’t hear Bradberry complain as his approach is very business-like (watching film and studying game plan) when preparing for an opponent. This mentality has made a definite impact inside the Giants locker room.
From the Giants perspective, Bradberry has been a godsend. He is a key piece to their future.
Finally, Gettleman made an astute free-agent signing.