The Giants’ are hoping Antrel Rolle can take some of the success he had last year with the Cardinals and bring it with him to New York. As you all know, Antrel Rolle was a member of the Arizona Cardinals last season. The Cardinals played the Giants’ at Giants’ Stadium last season and they came out victorious, partly in thanks to Antrel Rolle’s late fourth quarter interception to stop the nice comeback the Giants’ had. Rolle also had a mammoth of a hit on Tight End Kevin Boss. (The video will be posted a bit below.)
The Cardinals released Rolle in order to avoid a $4 million roster bonus they would have had to pay him if he was on the roster by early September. Boy was that a mistake. If the Cardinals realized Rolle would no longer be on the team after his release, they couldn’t resign him after, it’s doubtful they would have released Rolle and they would have paid the $4 million dollar roster bonus. Just one day later, after visiting New York, Rolle signed a five-year, $37 million contract with the Giants. The deal made Rolle one of the highest paid safeties in the NFL. The Cardinals did bid for the Rolle though, as reports have shown the Cardinals bid just as much as the Giants, and some reports say more. But playing under the “bright lights in a big stage” was to much for Rolle to pass up. Having the chance to play alongside a Kenny Phillips, a Miami Hurricane, was also a big factor in the decision. Rolle and Phillips both attended Miami “The U” University, and have maintained good relationship, which should translate well onto the field.
IRS Issues: The Internal Revenue Service says Antrel Rolle “understated his taxable income by more than 50% during his first two years in pro football, sending him a $2.2 million bill for back taxes, interest and penalties.”
While this is an issue for Rolle, it won’t likely effect him at all on the field, as he likely won’t face any penalties from the N.F.L. for his tax issues. Rolle will just have to fork over a boat-load of money.
Wildcat: The Giants’ aren’t huge fans of the Wildcat, as Head Coach Tom Coughlin and Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride see the Wildcat Package as a “gimmick.” However, with the newly acquired Rolle, Coughlin and Gilbride will have to address their view on it, as it has been reported Rolle can throw the ball 9o yards. Yes, 90 yards. Rolle does have experience with the Wildcat Offense, he had one catch for nine yards in 2008 and one carry for nine yards in 2009. Rolle is hoping to play some more offense in 2010. He was a high-school Quarterback and Running Back, so there’s a chance the Giants’ will strongly consider it, but it’s unknown right now if Rolle will get the chance to play some offense. Rolle also took a snap at in the Wildcat Formation against the Giants.
Highlights and Awards:
Rolle was the 8th overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2005 N.F.L. Draft out of Miami University.
Rolle switched from cornerback to safety before the 2008 season.
He was also a Pro Bowl selection this past season with four interceptions, 72 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.
The Kevin Boss Hit: Last season when the Giants’ played the Cardinals, Kevin Boss took a licking by Antrel Rolle while trying to snag in a pass near the side-line by the opposing end-zone. Rolle believes the impressive performance he had against the Giants’ in which he had the big late pick and crushing hit, led the Giants’ to signing him. In a way, I do agree. As Rolle said “Each game is also a job interview”, and if it went by that, he “knocked” it out of the park. Here’s the video.
(I apologize for not being able to get the video to play in the article, it wouldn’t play for some reason, so I decided it’d be best to link it!)
The Three Safety Set: One could assume if injuries linger in the secondary, Rolle could play some corner. Deon Grant said the Giants’ will at times be using three safeties. You could very well see him act as the “safety” before the snap, the corner will blitz and he will pick up the Wide Receiver. Most of Rolle’s success was at safety, so it’s unlikely he’d spend much time playing corner, but it’s always nice to have the ability to play it if need be.
What To Expect From Rolle in 2010?
The Giants’ are hoping for Rolle to bring his play-making abilities to the secondary this season. The Giants’ severely lacked that big-hit and coverage ability after Kenny Phillips went down last season. Rolle is a hard working player, who should bring back the toughness the Giants’ were lacking in the secondary last year. Rolle will also be a strong veteran in the locker room alongside Deon Grant, who also signed with the Giants’ this off-season. Rolle is a pro-bowl type player who should be a huge upgrade. The main issue will be if Kenny Phillips can play alongside Rolle. Antrel Rolle’s play won’t be an issue in New York, it’s a matter of whose playing next to him. He’s being paid a ton of money, and then some. It remains to be seen if Rolle can play up to his contract, but only time can tell.
Rolle can Punt Return. He has a 40 yard Punt Return to his name, but with the injury already to Domenik Hixon, it’s unlikely the Giants’ would throw a huge investment like Rolle back there. When the Giants’ hosted there open practice to the fans, which I attended, I saw Hixon’s injury happen right in-front of me, I was standing right next to it. The turf was the cause of it, there’s no doubt in my mind, and Rolle agreed saying the turf was a big part in the injury. Oddly enough, it didn’t stop the Giants’ from throwing Rolle back there. Apparently, after the injury, Jason Sehorn must have rung a bell and Rolle has stopped taking Punts back. Will this continue? It’s something will find out at Training Camp.