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Eagles Add Big Piece to Secondary, Sign James Bradberry

The cornerback will start opposite Darius Slay and is a reminder of a May move made five years ago
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PHILADELPHIA - The last time the Eagles signed a key contributor in the month of May was LeGarrette Blount. 

The running back signed a one-year deal on May 17, 2017. Nearly nine months later, Blount rode on the back of a truck in the team’s Super Bowl parade down Broad Street to the Museum of Art.

Five years and one day later, GM Howie Roseman did it again, bringing in a much-needed starting cornerback into the fold with the signing of James Bradberry on Wednesday.

The two sides agreed on a one-year deal worth $10 million, $7.25M of which is guaranteed.

Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni talked throughout the offseason about how they were looking forward to seeing what the young, unproven corners on their roster could do in a battle to start opposite Darius Slay. Even the players talked about being confident in whoever won the job between Zech McPhearson, Tay Gowan, and others.

The youth on the roster will now have to battle to be one of the top reserves behind Slay and Bradberry, because Bradberry clearly isn’t being brought in to fight for a job. He will start and have the opportunity to parlay his one-year deal into something better in the next offseason.

Steve Nelson did exactly that. Nelson was signed last July, had a solid season, and inked a two-year free-agent deal with the Texans for $10M.

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Bradberry's something better could potentially be with the Eagles.

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He will turn 29 in August and has yet to have a season where he didn’t record at least one interception in his six-year career. He had a career-high four picks last year with the Giants.

He began his career with the Carolina Panthers has a second-round draft pick in 2016 and has 15 career interceptions. He spent the last two years in New York, but, when a trade never materialized with any team, was released so the Giants could free up salary cap space in order to sign their draft picks, including two top-10 picks in Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal.

Now, Bradberry will get to play against the Giants twice this season, on Dec. 11 when the Eagles travel to the Meadowlands then again on either Jan. 7 or 8 when New York comes to Lincoln Financial Field.

The Eagles are still a bit thin at safety, so maybe another move will happen at that spot, but, like Blount, who was an important addition to the backfield five years ago, Bradberry could very well be the final piece for a defense that already added Haason Reddick and Kyzir White in free agency and Jordan Davis and Nakobe Dean in the draft.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Fan Nation Eagles Today and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglesmaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.