Not only did the Giants lose one of their top defensive players this offseason.
They had to watch him land with a division rival.
After the Giants failed to find a trade partner for cornerback James Bradberry earlier this month, they released him to save cap space. And then Bradberry drove south down the New Jersey Turnpike and signed a one-year deal with the Eagles.
“That sucks,” veteran Giants cornerback Adoree’ Jackson said to reporters on Thursday. “That’s like going to your rival. That’s like me and [Giants CB Darnay Holmes], USC and UCLA. But at the end of the day it’s still family. Still wish him the best and still wish him well regardless of what’s going on.”
Bradberry, 28, signed a one-year deal worth $7.25 million and another $2.5 million in possible incentives. In Philadelphia, he’ll team up with Darius Slay and Avonte Maddox to form one of the best cornerback trios in the NFL. He signed with the Eagles because of scheme fit; not as revenge.
But he leaves behind a Giants team that will miss him.
“It hurts,” Jackson said. “That’s a guy that when I came in, we bounced ideas off of each other, different techniques, how he plays. But at the end of the day, I can say I gained a brother in the process of knowing him.
“At the end of the day, it’s like your brother going off to college, younger brother. You see him leave but at the same time still being in touch with him and happy for him. As soon as he signed, it told him I was happy for him. Told him we’ll have to do a jersey swap, whatever it may be since we play them twice per year.”
The Eagles will face the Giants on the road at MetLife Stadium in Week 14 and will host them at the Linc on the last week of the regular season.
Bradberry said this week that he won’t feel any extra motivation going into those games, despite how he might have felt about the way things ended in New York. The Giants released him in May, well after most teams had already spent the bulk of their cap space in free agency.
“First of all, I understand that it’s a business so I was putting my business cap on first and understanding that I’m an asset so I understand that they want something for me, so that was part of the game,” Bradberry said.
“Personally, didn’t necessarily like it, but it’s a business at the end of the day and I understand that.”
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