Why James Bradberry chose the Giants in NFL free agency

Why James Bradberry chose the Giants in NFL free agency

Let’s get this straight. Dave Gettleman running the show as general manager actually helped the Giants procure a top-notch player?

So much for the belabored narrative that free agents will steer clear of the Giants because of Gettleman.

James Bradberry, the prize of the Giants’ haul this spring, agreed to a three-year contract worth $45 million to shut down opposing receivers and serve as a veteran leader to the assemblage of young cornerbacks. Bradberry was attracted to the Giants for several reasons, and when his choice came down to making a deal with the Giants or Lions, he chose the Giants because a familiar face was a large part of the process.

“I just feel New York was a better fit for me,” Bradberry said Monday on “The Jim Rome Show” on Radio.com. “I knew Mr. Gettleman, I know what type of organization he’s trying to build over there. I knew some of the players that were there as well and they had nothing but good things to say about the organization, so I feel like it was the right fit.”

As the Panthers general manager, Gettleman selected Bradberry, a lanky corner from Samford, in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Four years later, Bradberry hit free agency and Gettleman was there again, outbidding the Lions to add a healthy 26-year old with a history of limiting some of the top targets in the league.

“I feel like both organizations were great, I feel like both coaches were great coaches,” Bradberry said. “I just feel New York might have been a better feel for me, it’s a great city, it’s something new for me, I’m more of an introvert and I want to go to a big city just so I can explore a little bit more around the city.”

Bradberry, from Pleasant Grove, Ala., moves into a different role with the Giants. He is fully in his prime and yet far more experienced than the youthful position group he is about to join, with DeAndre Baker (22), Sam Beal (23), Corey Ballentine (23) and Grant Haley (23) set to occupy seats in the cornerback meeting room.

The goal, Bradberry said, is to provide for his new teammates what Mike Adams and Captain Munnerlyn did for him in Carolina.

“They weren’t like real boisterous with their words but they would always give me little tips and stuff, when I was in practice or watching film, and they always encouraged me,” Bradberry said. “That’s one thing I want to do for my teammates, encourage them to be better so eventually one day they can get a second contract like me.”

The Giants need Bradberry to do for them what he did for the Panthers. Operating in the NFC South, Bradberry went against Michael Thomas (Saints), Julio Jones (Falcons) and Mike Evans (Buccaneers) a total of six games last season and allowed one touchdown.

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In the NFC East, Bradberry gets Amari Cooper (Cowboys), Terry McLaurin (Redskins) and Alshon Jeffery (Eagles) six times a season. Not exactly the same set of challenges as what he left behind.

“While I was in the [division] it was kinda stressful,” Bradberry said. “I didn’t really look forward to those battles but I always approached those battles with a different mindset. I wanted to go out there and dominate and I wanted to make plays. Now that I’m not in that [division] anymore I feel like I’m gonna miss it. I used to get up early for those games because it was just a big battle for me and it was a test and as a competitor that’s all you can ask for, to go against the best.”

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