NFL free agency: Eagles reportedly bring back CB James Bradberry on 3-year, $38 million deal

James Bradberry played one season with the Eagles after time with the Giants and Panthers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

A key piece of the Philadelphia Eagles' Super Bowl run will return in 2023. Cornerback James Bradberry and the Eagles reportedly agreed to a new three-year, $38 million deal, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, with $6 million in incentives and $20 million guaranteed.

Bradberry, 29, joined the Eagles in 2022 on a one-year deal after the New York Giants released him during the offseason. He had a solid season in Philadelphia with three interceptions, 17 pass breakups and 44 combined tackles and was named a second-team All-Pro.

James Bradberry IV headshot
James Bradberry IV
CB - PHI - #24
2022 - 2023 season

He became infamously known for the controversial holding penalty at the end of Super Bowl LVII that extended the Kansas City Chiefs' eventual game-winning drive in the waning moments of the game. Bradberry's hold on receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster on third down allowed the Chiefs to drive down the field and kick a field goal to beat the Eagles 38-35.

Bradberry admitted after the game that he did commit the hold on Smith-Schuster, although the Eagles' defense as a whole didn't play well at times in the Super Bowl loss.

"It was a holding," Bradberry told reporters, per the Boston Globe's Ben Volin. "I tugged on the jersey. ... They called it. I was hoping they would let it ride."

Smith-Schuster later trolled Bradberry on Valentine's Day with a social media post mocking the holding penalty, which earned both laughs and angry responses from the collective NFL world. Eagles cornerback Darius Slay said it was too much while Eagles receiver A.J. Brown called the post "lame" and Smith-Schuster a "Tik-Tok boy."

Eagles defense will look different

Bradberry will now return to a new defense with new defensive coordinator Sean Desai running the show after Jonathan Gannon left for the Arizona Cardinals' head coaching job. It's also a unit that could have a few less familiar faces.

The Eagles' defense lost linebacker T.J. Edwards and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in free agency to the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers, respectively. Edwards reportedly agreed to a three-year, $19.5 million deal, while Hargrave reportedly inked a massive four-year, $84 million contract. Defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is also an impending free agent after being traded to the Eagles prior to the 2022 season.

The Eagles also reportedly allowed cornerback Darius Slay to seek a trade this offseason, according to ESPN's Dianna Russini. Slay signed a three-year, $50.5 million deal with the Eagles in 2020 and will have a $26.1 cap hit in 2023. The two sides are reportedly amenable to staying together, but it would likely take a restructuring of that deal to make it work.