James Bradberry

James Bradberry is still an Eagle, but he's no longer a cornerback

Bradberry has switched positions in the Eagles' secondary

NBC Universal, Inc.

James Bradberry is still an Eagle.

He’s just not a cornerback anymore.

Nick Sirianni said before minicamp practice Tuesday that Bradberry – a 2nd-team All-Pro cornerback two years ago – is now working at safety.

With the addition of 1st-round pick Quinyon Mitchell, 2nd-round pick Cooper DeJean and free agent Isaiah Rodgers, there wasn’t a spot at corner for Bradberry across from six-time Pro Bowler Darius Slay.

But the Eagles obviously don’t want to release Bradberry, who statistically was the worst corner in the NFL last year because of the cap hit – as a post-June 1 release, he would count $4.305 million in dead money against this year’s cap if the Eagles release him and $10.813 million in 2015.

That may still happen, but by moving him to safety, the Eagles add depth at a position they’re very light at and perhaps boost Bradberry’s potential trade value.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Reed Blankenship are the starters at safety, but the only real depth the Eagles have at safety is another converted corner, Mekhi Garner, who’s played 27 career defensive snaps, and 2nd-year pro Sydney Brown, who' still rehabbing a torn ACL. Tristin McCollum and Andre' Sam are also deep on the depth chart at safety.

So at worst, in the long-term, the Eagles put off making a decision on the 30-year-old Bradberry. At best? Who knows, maybe they add some much-needed safety depth.

Bradberry was on the practice field Tuesday at the start of the Eagles’ three-day mandatory minicamp at the NovaCare Complex.

“He played the majority of his career at corner and then was able to do some things at the dime (last year) and some things at the nickel, some things at the corner,” Sirianni said. “And now he's working some of the safety stuff, which you'll see (at practice). 

“So I'm excited about that and his opportunity to be able to (play safety). You've seen a lot of good corners in this league (move to safety). I guess the first guy that comes to my mind is Charles Woodson, he went from an elite corner to being an elite nickel to be an elite safety. And so I'm excited about that for James, that he's able to do more.”

Woodson, a 1st-ballot Hall of Famer, made eight Pro Bowls and two 1st-team All-Pro teams as a corner with the Raiders and Packers before moving back to safety in his 15th season with Green Bay. He played his last four seasons at safety. He had 54 interceptions and 11 pick-sixes as a corner. In 2012, at the age of 36, he switched to safety with the Packers before finishing his career back in Oakland. He had 11 INTs in four years as a safety.

Bradberry has had some nice seasons but is obviously in a different league than Woodson. He made his only Pro Bowl in 2020 with the Giants and has 19 INTs in eight seasons, four in two years with the Eagles.

Sirianni said Bradberry reacted positively when the move from corner to safety was suggested.

“James has always been a team guy since the moment he stepped in here and from what I understand everywhere else he's been because we obviously did our research before we brought James in in 2022,” Sirianni said.

“And he's always been a great team guy. He'll do anything for his teammates. He'll do anything for the team.”

Subscribe to Eagle Eye anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | YouTube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us