Giants Sign Rolle

The Giants operated swiftly and directly, landing the best safety on the market in Antrel Rolle, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals. Rolle, who was due a $4 million signing bonus by Arizona, was released and the Giants became the direct beneficiary. While Arizona wanted to resign Rolle, both the Dolphins and Giants began courting the former University of Miami star immediately, with the Giants winning the bidding war. The move gives this secondary instant credibility at the safety position, a spot where the Giants displayed some of the worst play in the league last season. Rolle made his first Pro Bowl this past season and is regarded as one of the better playmaking defenders in the league, something the Giants desperately need. Rolle was selected in 2005 as the eighth overall player in the draft as a cornerback, moving to safety in 2008.

Rolle is now the highest paid safety in the league, roughly at about $8 million per year. Is he the best? No way. But he is in the upper echelon of safeties and if the Giants can somehow get Kenny Phillips back at 100 percent, they’d have one of the best, if not the best, tandems in league. That’s a big if, however. Phillips is rehabbing from micro-fracture surgery and the reports have been mixed. Some say he’ll be ready to participate training camp on a limited basis, while others say he’ll only be running by then.

This signing was two fold. It protects the Giants if Phillips’ career is in fact over, giving them a proven safety. Shortly after Rolle was signed, the Giants cut Aaron Rouse from the roster leaving the team with only three legit NFL safeties, and that includes the injured Phillips. While safety doesn’t have to be a first round or second round pick now, be assured they will take a safety somewhere in the 2010 draft. It thus allows them to focus on their other areas of need come draft time without needing to reach for a safety too early. Middle linebacker and defensive tackle remain high on the team’s watch list for sure.

Leave a Reply