Eagles’ James Bradbury is ready for the Giants and whatever the future holds

It was pretty clear last week that AJ Brown had the game against the Titans circled on his calendar and was using the game against his former team as extra motivation.

Not quite the same for James Bradbury this week.

“I think the situations were a little bit different,” Bradbury said Wednesday.

But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t at least a little drama with Bradberry’s release from the Giants earlier this year. After trying unsuccessfully to trade Bradbury for months, the Giants finally released him on May 9, long after most teams had already spent their big money in free agency.

That’s how the Eagles ended up signing Bradbury to a relatively cheap one-year deal so late in the process. As you can imagine, Bradbury wasn’t thrilled with the way the timing worked out.

But he got over it in the last few months.

“I’ve come to terms with it,” Bradbury said. “And the fact that we won a lot of football games helped me with that. I’m part of the Eagles, we’re winning and I’ll try to keep it going.”

The Eagles are 11-1 in their first game against the Giants this season, and there’s no doubt that the addition of Bradberry has worked. The 29-year-old has played at a legitimate Pro Bowl level in 2022 with 3 interceptions and 14 pass breakups in 12 starts against Darius Slay.

Bradbury and Slay formed one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL. But it stands to reason that this could be a one-and-done year for Bradbury in Philly.

Because of how well he’s been playing, Bradbury might just break the bank with a huge contract in free agency this spring. And the Eagles, who already have Slay at a premium, may not be able to afford to keep him.

Bradbury said he thinks his value is “pretty high” right now, and that’s hard to argue with.

“I’m open to staying here,” Bradbury said. “Like I said, in the end it’s going to be business first. And it must make sense for me to stay here. And, of course, they must also want me to stay here.

While Bradbury said the chance to play for a winning team — and the Eagles are clearly a winning team — will certainly factor into his decision, the fact that he said “business first” certainly seems like there won’t be a discount for his services in 2023. And the Eagles have plenty of pending free agents to worry about after the 2022 season.

So enjoy watching Bradberry while you can. Because these Eagles are a legitimate Super Bowl contender, and he’s a big reason why.

Having two corners play like Slay and Bradbury not only opens up the playbook for defenses, but also makes things extremely difficult for opposing offenses.

“That’s one of the first things you think about offensively, what corner can I go to?” Siriani said. “What defensive target should I defend against? You think about these things. I’m just glad we’re deep in these positions. They really complement each other well that way.”

Siriani on Wednesday revealed that the Eagles named Bradbury their Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Titans. Bradbury had a couple of tackles and a couple of pass breakups against Tennessee.

But the most impressive part of Bradbury’s game is his consistency. While the results have changed over the past few years from a team standpoint, while he’s played for the Panthers, Giants and now the Eagles, he’s been pretty steady.

“I think I’ve always been consistent,” Bradbury said. “It’s just a question of whether I’m in a position to make more games here.”

That sequence starts with Bradbury’s preparation and what defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon called “football character” earlier this week. Whenever the Eagles are interested in bringing in an outside player, they create coexistence reports to learn from players and coaches who have spent time with that player before.

That report on Bradberry was very favorable in the “football character” department, and Gannon said Bradberry actually exceeded those expectations.

James Bradbury’s football character, you could put him up against anyone in the world,” Gannon said. “I’m glad we have it.”

That’s high praise from the defensive coordinator and former defensive backs coach.

“I think that means I’m a disciplined player and I pride myself on being disciplined and being reliable,” Bradbury said. “It means a lot to me.”

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