Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Darius Slay said James Bradberry is ‘in good spirits’ as Eagles’ CB faces uncertain future

PHILADELPHIA — James Bradberry had a disastrous season with the Philadelphia Eagles last year. Questions arose regarding Bradberry’s future with the Eagles before Philadelphia drafted Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean in the first two rounds of the draft. 

During Wednesday’s open voluntary OTA practice, Bradberry wasn’t present for the session, creating even more questions regarding his future in an Eagles uniform. 

Darius Slay has been Bradberry’s starting mate at cornerback the past two seasons. He’s seen the best and worst of Bradberry on the field over that time, ensuring the veteran is still all in with his current team. 

“I talk to Bradberry all the time. He in good spirits,” Slay said at the NovaCare Complex Wednesday. “JB, what he going on year nine? Yea, he be good. He made a lot of money, played good, All-Pro, Pro Bowl player. We had talks. He in good spirits. 

“His mindset is the same way as mine is. He’s gonna help these young guys get better and make sure we give them the tools to be successful at what they do.”

The Eagles did draft Mitchell and DeJean to be the future at cornerback, but also have a very deep cornerback group after significantly investing on the position over the past two seasons. Kelee Ringo and Eli Ricks were bright spots last season and are heading into their second year, while Josh Jobe is a special teams ace for the team and has seen valuable snaps on defense. 

Isaiah Rodgers started for the Indianapolis Colts and the Eagles took him while he was serving a one-year suspension from the league, so they like to see what he can do. Avonte Maddox is also seeing first team reps in the slot after signing a one-year contract after being released to clear up salary cap space. Tyler Hall was also signed this offseason to get an opportunity to play the slot. 

Then there’s Bradberry, who is still on the roster but the Eagles can designate him as a post-June 1 cut and not owe anything toward the salary cap. Bradberry’s contract would carry $4.305 million in dead cap, but the Eagles could just eat the money if the 31-year-old isn’t in the team’s plans to start in 2024. 

Bradberry is coming off a season which opposing quarterbacks targeting him completed 56% of their passes for 689 yards and nine touchdowns (87.1 passer rating allowed as the primary defender). He had just one interception and 13 pass breakups, one year removed from an All-Pro season and signing a three-year, $38 million contract. 

The Eagles may be looking to get out of the deal if Bradberry wishes to move on, especially since Bradberry makes too much to be a backup and he doesn’t play special teams. Slay has said Bradberry has the same mentality as him when it comes to football, as he continues to give back to the younger generation of players. 

“I wanna compete. I want the young guys to see my face,” Slay said. “I want [them] to understand what 12 years look like and how I got to 12 years. Of course I’m a family man, I got kids. My daughter do stuff with sports. I wanna make sure I’m always there for that. 

“I do have a job and I wanna reach out to other people. I take care of my family first for sure, but the Eagles are my extended family. 

“I come to plant the seed and let these guys know I’m here. I’m just a call away any time.” 

Bradberry is a veteran in this league too. The voluntary portion of the OTAs isn’t enough evidence to determine how Bradberry stands with the Eagles, but how this summer plays out will be a telling sign. 

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