Trading for James Bradberry doesn't make sense for LA Chargers

Las Vegas Raiders v New York Giants
Las Vegas Raiders v New York Giants / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

With free agency right around the corner, the offseason market is really starting to pick up and one of the biggest new names on the trade market is New York's James Bradberry. With Bradberry being a cornerback, the LA Chargers naturally seem like a potential candidate.

This is the second Giants player that fans have connected to the Bolts after Keenan Allen's tweet about the Giants potentially trading Saquon Barkley. And while I will agree that Bradberry would be a much better get for the Chargers than Barkley, that still does not mean that they should trade for him.

There are several compelling reasons why the LA Chargers should not trade for James Bradberry.

First of all, the Chargers would have to pay draft capital in order to get Bradberry. The reported asking price for Bradberry in a trade is a third-round pick. While I personally am someone who thinks teams should be more willing to trade draft capital for proven talent, this is not one of those circumstances.

The Chargers would be trading a third-round pick for an expiring 29-year-old. That means that the team would either be trading a day two pick for one year of Bradberry or, more likely, would be trading for him to work out a new deal. However, that new deal would kick in when he is 30 and above.

We all know how 30-year-old cornerbacks fair and why it is scary to pay them a decent-sized salary.

The Chargers would be taking on around $12.1 million in salary in trading for Bradberry this season. That number could be slightly lowered with an extension but at the very least the team would likely be taking an $8-9 million cap hit for his services this season.

While Bradberry was a Pro Bowler in 2020, I do not think he is worth that kind of money. He is a fine cornerback but what this team needs is depth and/or a true CB1. Bradberry's price (and trading a pick for him) makes it harder to build that depth and he is not a true CB1.

Per Pro Football Focus, Bradberry allowed 60 receptions on 92 targets for 729 yards and eight touchdowns with four interceptions. Quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100.3 when targeting him.

Out of 91 qualified cornerbacks who played at least 50% of coverage snaps, Bradberry had the 29th-highest passer rating allowed, allowed the most touchdowns and allowed the 39th-highest reception rate — putting him in the bottom half of corners in the league. His coverage stats were very similar to Asante Samuel Jr. last season and Samuel is going to only get better with his age, Bradberry is going to get worse.

For what it is worth, Bradberry was also tied for the ninth-most missed tackles among cornerbacks last season with the 17th-highest missed tackle percentage.

It is not like Bradberry faced off against great quarterbacks, either. He did face Justin Herbert, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, Matthew Stafford and Dak Prescott (twice), making up six of his 17 games. In the other 11 games, he faced Teddy Bridgewater, Taylor Heinicke (twice), Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Sam Darnold, Derek Carr, Jalen Hurts (twice), Tua Tagovailoa and Andy Dalton.

Simply put: Bradberry is not good enough to warrant trading a third-round pick AND spending salary-cap space on. The team would be much better off spending less on someone like Rasul Douglas and another cheaper starting corner, or making someone like Charvarius Ward the big signing and using the draft to bring in more depth.

If Bradberry had a long career of success and had one bad year it would be one thing. If anything, he has been a rather average corner his entire career who had one great year and then regressed hard in 2022.

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Do we really want to see the Chargers spend two key assets (day two pick and cap space) for a player with his arrow pointing down?