The Bucs’ cornerback room looks pretty set after retaining Carlton Davis and drafting Zyon McCollum this offseason. However, could they add another veteran to the mix? We know they looked into Patrick Peterson before he re-signed with the Vikings. But now, another potential fit is on the market after the Giants parted ways with James Bradberry on Monday.
There are several reasons to consider making a play for him, however unlikely it might be. First is the scheme fit. Bradberry has the traditional size the Bucs look for, as he is 6-foot-1. Excellent in man coverage, he also excels in zone as well. Head coach Todd Bowles likes to have versatility with his corners, and having two shutdown guys on the outside would make life very difficult for opposing quarterbacks. Bradberry had a down year in 2021, but he has been solid in coverage, run defense and tackling throughout his career.
Of course, the big question is whether or not the Bucs can afford him. Much like with Logan Ryan, the Giants bit the bullet by cutting Bradberry. They owe him $2 million of his salary for this upcoming season. Though there is offset language in terms of the money remaining, Bradberry could double dip if he signs for the veteran minimum. He will have suitors, namely the Chiefs and Eagles. But if he is looking for a place to rehab his market with a chance to win, the Bucs might offer an easier path.
Another possible lure could be none other than Ryan, a recent teammate. Ryan signed with the Bucs quickly after the Giants released him. If Bradberry were to consider Tampa Bay, he’d have someone in the organization to vouch for him. It’s not just Ryan’s voice that could be heard either.
Mutual Respect Between Bucs’ Evans, Bradberry
Bucs WR Mike Evans – Photo by: USA Today
Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans offered high praise for Bradberry in the past and they have a mutual respect for one another.
“He’s a really good player,” Evans said of Bradberry. “I like his game a lot. Real physical.”
Answering a question earlier this year about which cornerback gives him the most trouble in one-on-one matchups, Evans named Bradberry as one of three corners.
“I would say Marshon Lattimore, Jalen Ramsey and James Bradberry – those three guys always make for a battle,” Evans said.
Meanwhile, Bradberry once called Evans one of the toughest receivers he’s ever matched up against.
“The guy’s 6-5, he runs very fluently, has good body control down the field at the point of attack,” Bradberry said. “He’s stronger than people realize. And he’s tough to bring down after he catches the ball.”
The Bucs will most likely do their due diligence on Bradberry. Jamel Dean is currently penciled in as the starter opposite Davis, but we’ve heard how this team wants to breed competition, especially in the secondary. With the league turning into a passing league and the amount of injuries that occurred last season, having a strong stable of corners is important now more than ever. The Bucs would be wise to at least kick the tires on Bradberry.