Getting rid of the healthiest and best players on the roster is not the healthiest and best way to run a team. The Giants are boxed into a financial corner with James Bradberry, but what has been anticipated for weeks did not transpire on Wednesday, as the top cornerback on the roster was not released.
Bradberry remains with the Giants, for now.
So too, the $12.1 million in cap savings the Giants would have gained by sharing ways with Bradberry remains on the books. For now.
The goal for Joe Schoen, the new Giants general manager, was to find a trade partner and send Bradberry away in exchange for a mid-round draft pick. That market never materialized, as teams anticipated they could get Bradberry without surrendering any draft capital once the Giants released him.
The 4 pm start of the new league year came and went with Bradberry going nowhere, meaning $2 million of his $13.4 million base salary is now guaranteed. Whether the Giants or a different team eventually pays that remains to be seen.
Without that $12.1 million to use, the Giants will be hard-pressed to make any more moves of any significance in free agency, unless they create cap space elsewhere. Thus far, the Giants signed three offensive linemen — with guard Mike Glowinski and center Jon Feliciano expected to start, and Matt Gono expected to fill a swing tackle role. They also signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor to serve as the backup to Daniel Jones.
The Giants did not need Bradberry’s cap space to make the signings official. If Bradberry was cut, it would have created $9.7 million in dead cap money. The Giants will need to free up cap space to sign their nine draft picks, but they have time for that.
The Giants can wait this out. Perhaps the trade market opens up around the draft or perhaps after the draft, when teams realize they did not address their cornerback issues.
Bradberry is a bona fide starter, but a cap hit of $13.4 million for a team that trades for him is onerous. Plus, he is entering the final year of his contract, so a team wanting to ease the salary cap blow in 2022 would have to extend Bradberry’s contract.
There does not seem to be a way for the Giants to keep Bradberry with his scheduled cap hit of $21.8 million — a hit that became inflated when Bradberry last year twice restructured the original three-year, $43.5 million deal he signed prior to the 2020 season . Bradberry delivered for the Giants. He played in all 17 games in 2021, and the only game he missed in 2020 was because he was a COVID-19 close contact. He stays on the team, for now.
No news is good news when it comes to long snappers. Casey Kreiter’s name was barely mentioned the past two seasons, and this is a big reason why the Giants re-signed him on Wednesday.
The Giants did not tender QB Jake Fromm as an exclusive-rights free agent. Fromm, signed late last season off the Bills practice squad, started two games. The Giants lost both games, to the Eagles and Washington, and Fromm completed 21 of 48 passes for 128 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
The Giants added Taylor and Davis Webb as quarterbacks behind Jones. Brian Daboll, the new Giants head coach, worked with Fromm last season in Buffalo.
WR Davis Sills and CB Jarren Williams were tendered as exclusive rights free agents. G Kyle Murphy and S JR Reed did not receive tenders. … The Giants have three restricted free agents — FB Cullen Gillaspia, S Stephen Parker and S Josh Kalu. With the lowest tender at $2.4 million, none of the three were tendered.