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Eagles sign James Bradberry: Philadelphia has improved more than any other NFC team, per proven projection model

The Philadelphia Eagles added a starter in the secondary on Tuesday in former Giant James Bradberry.
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When CBS Sports did free-agent grades for every NFL team on March 22, the Philadelphia Eagles were given a B with the additions of receiver Zach Pascal and linebacker Haason Reddick. However, since that story posted, Philly has had arguably the best offseason of any team, and the SportsLine Projection Model forecasts that the Eagles have improved the most of any team in the NFC, nearly doubling their chances to win the conference as well as the NFC East division. Caesars Sportsbook has Philadelphia a +200 second favorite in the East behind Dallas (+110).

On Wednesday, the Eagles made their latest offseason upgrade by signing former Giants starting cornerback James Bradberry, a 2020 Pro Bowler, on a one-year deal. He was surprisingly released by the Giants on May 9 because they couldn't find a trade partner and needed to trim salary. 

Philadelphia lost starting cornerback Steven Nelson in free agency to Houston this offseason, and Bradberry will slide right in next to Darius Slay. Bradberry is one of three players with at least 70 pass breakups in the past five seasons. The others are the Saints' Marshon Lattimore and Slay. There are just two players in the NFL since 2016 with at least 15 interceptions and 80 pass breakups: Bradberry and Slay.

The move wasn't their only big addition of the offseason, however. During the draft, the Eagles traded for excellent young Titans receiver A.J. Brown (giving him a long-term extension as well) to form a dynamic duo with former Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, who had a terrific rookie year in 2021. The team also beefed up its defense by selecting Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis in Round 1 and Dawgs linebacker Nakobe Dean in Round 3.

Dean, the 2021 Butkus Award winner and Associated Press first-team All-America selection, was a first-round talent who slipped because of apparent medical concerns. According to ESPN's Draft Day Predictor, there was only a 2 percent chance Dean would last to No. 83. The Eagles haven't had an inside linebacker make the Pro Bowl since Jeremiah Trotter in 2005.

Also note that the Eagles have the easiest 2022 strength of schedule in the league via their opponents' average betting win total at Caesars Sportsbook. It's all on Jalen Hurts now. Philadelphia opens its schedule Sept. 11 at Detroit and is a 3.5-point favorite, per Caesars.

On March 1, the SportsLine Projection Model (see below) had the Eagles as an 8.5-win team with a 22.5 percent chance of winning the NFC East. Now they are projected to be a 10-win team with a 41.9 percent chance to win the division with nearly a 70 percent chance to make the playoffs. Caesars lists Philly at -150 to make the postseason and +120 to miss. 

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES WIN      WIN%       DIVISION         PLAYOFF      CONF     CHAMP
March 1 Forecast8.550.0%22.5%45.8%3.9%1.5%
May 18 Forecast1058.8%41.9%68.9%7.6%3.4%
Difference+1.5+8.8%+19.4%+23.1%+3.7%+1.9%


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