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James Bradberry's Return Helps Stem Bleeding on Eagles' Defense

By John McMullen,

2023-03-14

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The veteran CB said he had offers for more money elsewhere but felt the Eagles fit him best

The Eagles stopped the bleeding on defense momentarily by bringing back All-Pro cornerback James Bradberry on a three-year deal worth $38 million with $20M of that guaranteed.

Philadelphia had lost four 2022-23 defensive starters - linebackers T.J. Edwards and Kyzir White, DT Javin Hargrave, and S Marcus Epps - over the first two days of the so-called legal-tampering period ahead of free agency before getting Bradberry back on Tuesday afternoon.

"I went back because of the familiarity with the coaching staff, because I love the city and playing for the Eagles," Bradberry told CBS Sports' Josina Anderson. "They also gave me a deal around what I was looking for."

Bradberry added that there were other teams that offered more, but said, "I feel like Philly fit me the best."

Ironically, Bradberry was considered among the most likely to leave over the past few months after signing a one-year prove-it deal with the Eagles months after being a salary-cap casualty with the New York Giants.

The thought was that Bradberry played so well that he would be too costly for Philadelphia to maintain especially with five-time Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay on the other side.

Things have changed quickly with Bradberry back in the fold and Philadelphia giving Slay's agent Drew Rosenhaus permission to seek a trade as those two sides try to lower a $26M cap number.

Bradberry, who will turn 30 in August, had hinted about things shifting in a positive direction with the Eagles while appearing with Anderson on Sunday.

“I know there’s definitely interest with the Eagles," Bradberry said. "I would love to play for the Eagles. I definitely see how bright the future is for the team. I’m just waiting to hear on the exact terms from them.

"I believe they’re also waiting for what the market tells as well, because I’m also anticipating interest from other teams, too. So, they told me whoever calls, just make sure I also give them the chance to match.”

It looks like Bradberry gave the Eagles that chance and Howie Roseman got things done.

Bradberry finished with three interceptions last season, including a pick-six, and had 17 pass breakups, the third consecutive season he's had at least 17 PBUs.

Receivers made just 46 receptions while Bradberry was being targeted in coverage 98 times. The lengthy CB allowed just a minuscule 51.8 passer rating per Pro Football Focus.

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-John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's Eagles Today and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John, alongside legendary sports-talk host Jody McDonald every morning from 8-10 on ‘Birds 365,” streaming live on YouTube. John is also the host of his own show "Football 24/7 and a daily contributor to ESPN South Jersey. You can reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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