One of the reasons James Bradberry chose the Philadelphia Eagles over multiple suitors in free agency was the opportunity to pair up with Darius Slay. Bradberry and Slay form one of the top cornerback duos in the NFL — and arguably the Eagles’ best cornerback duo since Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown in the mid-2000s.
Bradberry isn’t one to buy into the hype, but it’s hard to contain the excitement of actually playing with Slay.
“I see an elite corner. I watched him since I got into the league. I always admired his game,” Bradberry told The Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Network. “Just having the opportunity to learn from him and actually complement him, I’m excited for it. I think we’re going to complement each other pretty well.”
Bradberry and Slay are the only cornerbacks with 80 passes defended since Bradberry’s rookie season (2016), as both are first and second in the league (Slay has the most with 84). Slay is coming off one of his best seasons, finishing with 52 tackles, three interceptions, nine passes defensed, and two fumble recoveries for touchdowns (which led the league). Opposing quarterbacks targeting Slay as the primary defender had just a 59.5 passer rating against him last year.
Slay understands why the Eagles brought Bradberry into the fold because there were similar reasons surrounding Philadelphia acquiring him via trade two years ago. The Eagles are trying to recreate the dynamic of Bobby Taylor and Troy Vincent, along with Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown, with Slay and Bradberry.
“From the outside looking in, there’s always been a corner issue here,” Slay said, via SiriusXM NFL Radio. “There aren’t too many teams that had two top-tier corners that played together in the Philly area. We’re trying to make sure we fill them shoes.
“The sky’s the limit for me and Bradberry. I’m gonna help him, he gonna help me. We complement each other and we’re really trying to turn this into something great here.”