The Eagles are considering moving James Bradberry to make way

The Eagles are considering moving James Bradberry to safety while Isaiah Rodgers is in the mix to start.

In free agency last year, the Eagles chose to let both of their starting safetys from Super Bowl LVII depart. That choice caused problems for the defense, which collapsed in the last moments. Philadelphia’s secondary seems to be considerably deeper a year later.



New Eagles assistant coach describes his interactions with CB James  Bradberry -

A roster-stash decision made by the Eagles last summer contributes to their increased confidence over their DB contingent. The Eagles added Isaiah Rodgers, a young kick returner who was a starter at cornerback for the Colts in 2022, in a discreet move while teams were deciding who players to cut as the deadline to drop down to 53 approached in late August. Naturally, Rodgers missed the entire previous season because of a gambling ban that resulted from numerous infractions of the NFL’s policy. Rodgers might be in a better position after a year.

Although the former sixth-round pick missed his age-25 season, he has a clear path to a rebound window ahead of what may well be a more notable free agency stay in 2025. Rodgers has been “a revelation” this offseason, per’s Albert Breer, and The Athletic’s Brooks Kubena notes the Eagles gave the three-year Colt a significant number of first-team reps during minicamp (subscription required). Despite the Eagles still rostering Darius Slay and James Bradberry and the team having re-signed Avonte Maddox not long after making him a cap casualty, it has bolstered its CB group with a host of younger talents.

Rodgers started nine games with the Colts in 2022, playing opposite Stephon Gilmore, and made an impression in part-time duty. Pro Football Focus ranked Rodgers as the NFL’s fifth-best cornerback that year. This assessment came on just 283 defensive snaps, but the 170-pound defender recovered four fumbles that year and also intercepted three passes in 2021. Training camp figures to be pivotal for Rodgers, who saw the Eagles devote the most important part of their draft to the cornerback position.

Philly drafted Quinyon Mitchell in Round 1 and Cooper DeJean in Round 2. DeJean is viewed as a corner/safety hybrid at this juncture, Breer adds, but Mitchell certainly will be treated as a hopeful long-term starter at corner. The Eagles also gave plenty of first-team reps to 2023 fourth-round pick Kelee Ringo during minicamp, Kubena adds. Ringo logged 199 defensive snaps last season, which still featured the Slay-Bradberry tandem as the CB group’s leaders.

Slay is going into his age-33 season, and his three-year, $39MM deal does not feature any 2025 guarantees. Bradberry re-signed on a three-year, $38MM pact in 2023 but could not follow up his strong ’22 campaign with impressive work last season. PFF rated Bradberry 100th at the position in 2023. The Eagles have made an effort to begin cross-training Bradberry at safety, and Breer adds the team is toying with moving the ninth-year vet to a back-line spot on a full-time basis. No guarantees remain on Bradberry’s deal post-2024.

As a few Hall of Famers have shown, corner-to-safety moves are not too uncommon. This one would come ahead of Bradberry’s age-31 season. The Eagles brought back C.J. Gardner-Johnson after his year in Detroit and still roster 2023 starter Reed BlankenshipSydney Brown, a 2023 third-rounder, is rehabbing an ACL tear sustained in Week 18. He is a candidate to begin the season on the reserve/PUP list.

Even with Brown potentially out of the mix to start the season, the Eagles’ secondary should have more options compared to 2023. Rodgers and/or Ringo entering Week 1 as viable starter candidates would likely prompt the Eagles to strongly consider Bradberry at safety, depending on how the career-long boundary corner looks in training camp, with DeJean an interesting wild card here. A depth-based trade could conceivably come into play as well.

The Eagles submitted one of the more notable collapses in recent NFL history last season, with the defense playing the lead role in the unraveling. This figures to be an interesting season for three-time reigning playoff qualifiers, as the Slay-Bradberry-Maddox-CJGJ group intersects with a host of younger options that will be expected to take over down the line.

As Rodgers will be a free agent in 2019, it is unclear if he will be included in that long-term collection. Nonetheless, the UMass alum has a route to recovery as the gambling scandal swiftly eclipsed his Colts rookie contract contributions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *