The Vikings Can Now Get Richer at CB if They So Desire

The Vikings Can Get Richer at CB if They So Desire
James Bradberry

At the tail end of his career’s prime, cornerback James Bradberry was released by the New York Giants on Monday.

The Giants will save $10.1 million in cap space while incurring a noteworthy $11.7 million dead cap hit against their books.

A 2nd-Round draft pick by the Carolina Panthers in 2016, Bradberry is among the NFL’s steadiest corners. He’s not an elite Jalen Ramsey type — but nobody is. It is unclear why the Giants were hellbent on divorce from Bradberry.

New York explored trading Bradberry, evidently to no avail. Now, he’ll hit the open market, unquestionably drawing interest from CB-needy teams.

Giants cornerback James Bradberry. Syndication: The Record.

This is what the Minnesota Vikings have on tap for cornerbacks before any Bradberry-to-Vikings theories percolate:

CB1: Patrick Peterson
CB2: Cameron Dantzler
CB3: Andrew Booth
CB4: Chandon Sullivan
CB5: Akayleb Evans
CB6: Nate Hairston
CB7: Kris Boyd
CB8: Harrison Hand
CB9: Parry Nickerson
CB10: Tye Smith

It’s in the eye of the beholder to decide if that group of Vikings is “all set” for 2022. Most would consider it passable for game-readiness, especially if the rookie Booth blossoms this summer.

Dec 13, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants cornerback James Bradberry. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings can hedge defensive secondary bets by signing Bradberry. Plain and simple. He’s dependable, will turn 29 this summer, and probably wants to win for once. To date, Bradberry has played in just one playoff game during his six-year career.

Here’s his resume via Pro Football Focus:

  • 2021 = 62.8
  • 2020 = 79.8
  • 2019 = 61.7
  • 2018 = 66.4
  • 2017 = 62.6
  • 2016 = 69.5

To sign Bradberry, the Vikings would need some cap maneuverability. General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could renegotiate the contracts of Eric Kendricks and Dalvin Cook. Those are really the two options for the Vikings current state of free agency (unless Bradberry is available for a shockingly low sum).

These kinds of decisions — if the Vikings are even interested — determine if a team is genuinely ready to go all-in for a Super Bowl run. Sure, the depth chart is in “good shape” now, but a Bradberry onboarding would make it better.

And better wins championships.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).