Eagles react to acquisition of Bradberry — ‘It's huge'


The Eagles showed up for work on Wednesday and got a big surprise. As they were going about their day during the voluntary portion of this offseason, the news began to trickle in.

They just landed James Bradberry!

“I walked in the locker room and I didn’t even know about it because I didn’t look at my phone or anything like that,” Eagles nickel cornerback Avonte Maddox said. “But then I seen a few guys talking about it and I looked at my phone and seen it.”

Bradberry, the former Pro Bowl cornerback released earlier this month by the division-rival Giants, agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million to join the Eagles.

That’s the kind of news that will have the NovaCare Complex buzzing.

“Pretty lit, pretty cool,” Maddox said. “High praise for the player and the guy. So I’m excited to work with him.”

While Maddox was one of a handful of players choses to speak to reporters on Wednesday, fellow starting cornerback Darius Slay was not.

But he took to Twitter to let everyone know how excited he was.

Bradberry, 28, didn’t have his best season in 2021 after his Pro Bowl year in 2020. But he still played in 17 games with 16 starts last year and had 4 interceptions, 17 pass breakups and 47 tackles. In a down year!

In his career, Bradberry has 91 starts, 15 interceptions and 82 pass breakups.

“It’s huge,” safety Marcus Epps said. “Anytime we can add a player like that, it’ll boost any team. He’s a really good player. Been proving he’s a good player in this league for a while, so I’m really excited to meet him and I’m really excited to work with him.”

The Eagles now boast a strong trio of starting cornerbacks with Slay, Bradberry and Maddox. Last year, Steven Nelson was a solid CB2, but Bradberry is an undeniable upgrade. And in the last two months, they’ve added an impressive group of defensive players, including Bradberry, Haason Reddick, Kyzir White, Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean.

Are they still a little weak at safety? Yeah, maybe. But it’s hard to ignore all the talent they’ve added this offseason.

“I think it’s a pretty good draft class and the guys they brought in as free agents,” Maddox said. “It’s a highly competitive group and I can’t wait to see how it goes, going into camp and OTAs. All these players are able to compete. You bring players in to compete and that’s a good thing because it pushes everyone to get better.”

Had the Eagles not added Bradberry — or another corner — they would have likely had a competition for that CB2 spot with young cornerbacks like Zech McPhearson and Tay Gowan. Now, those guys are battling for backup jobs, which makes the whole roster stronger.

Linebacker T.J. Edwards was in the weight room lifting when the news broke. So he found out a little later than some of his teammates.

“It’s awesome,” Edwards said. “We’re just adding really big pieces to this. Now, it’s just about everyone kind of finding their role, fitting in and also making sure that we’re focusing on the details and one day at a time because I think we’ve got all these good players and guys who play really good football but you gotta come in and put it all together in a way we want it to look. I think that’s exciting.”

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