The Eagles have loaded up on depth at several position groups this offseason although positions like safety are still in question. The one group that may have received the biggest impact is the cornerback room. Darius has been plagued with a lack of talent in running mates during his tenure with the Eagles.
Last season the team signed Steven Nelson late in the offseason to help solidify the cornerback position while giving Slay a reliable CB2. Nelson wasn’t the greatest during his season with the birds as he allowed a completion percentage of 67% against him.
He had 7 pass deflections on 72 targets but allowed 48 receptions for 577 yards and 5 touchdowns. It wasn’t the greatest of tenures but compared to the Eagles’ past at cornerback, it could’ve been worse.
Fortunately, the Eagles’ rivals released their star cornerback, James Bradberry, after a down season. Bradberry had a spectacular debut with the Giants as he was selected to the Pro Bowl after his first season with the team. Last season it seemed as if Bradberry was just misused in the defensive scheme.
James was heavily used in press and man coverage but after looking at the film it’s clear that Bradberry excels in zone coverage and off the line of scrimmage. It just so happens that the Eagles’ scheme is a perfect fit for James Bradberry’s talents.
Now with a player like Darius Slay on the other side of the field, we could see a renaissance season from the former Pro Bowl Cornerback which could lead to my next theory, a long-term tenure with the Eagles.
With James Bradberry being the rave at training camp already, as he’s held his own in battles against DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown, one has to wonder if Howie Roseman will give Bradberry the Alshon treatment. The infamous sign a prove-it deal that could lead to a longer deal but in this case, it would make all the sense in the world.
James Bradberry is only 29 years old, actually, his birthday is today so happy birthday to the Eagles’ future Pro Bowl corner, which could mean that he has a good two to three years left in the tank before he starts to decline. Darius Slay is entering his year 31 Season and is signed until 2023 but has a cap hit of $26 million next year.
This could all mean that Bradberry may just be in the Eagles’ long-term plans if he shows that he can still be more than efficient for the team this season. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Eagles did a mid-year move to sign him to an extension for another 2-3 years while finding a way to restructure Slay’s deal for another year or so deciding to move on after this season.
Keeping Slay and Bradberry together for another year would make sense because the franchise could then draft a top young cornerback in the first round. In doing so that rookie could learn from two veterans while being paired with one of them for another 2 years or so.
The James Bradberry signing could pay off big time for the Eagles this season as long as he plays to his potential in Gannon’s scheme. Only time will tell if this is the exact thinking of Howie Roseman and the Eagles and due to old habits, I wouldn’t doubt it one bit.
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