The Chicago Bears recently released veteran safety Antrel Rolle. Is a reunion with the defensively challenged New York Giants now plausible?
By Gregg Cambareri
Don’t get too high or too low over the recent news of former New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle hitting the free agent market.
While a return to the Big Apple can’t be ruled out, it’s unlikely at best. Rolle, 33, is coming off an injury plagued season with Chicago that saw him appear in just seven games. The University of Miami product was popular with fans and media during his five year tenure in New York; Rolle was a team captain, appeared weekly on WFAN, and was a member of the SuperBowl XLVI team.
Given the Giants’ cloudy safety situation, it’s easy to see the intrigue of a reunion. It’s just not very realistic, though.
The Giants have been one of the most injured teams in the league over the past three seasons; a 33 year old safety coming off an injury plagued season is the opposite of what the doctor ordered.
I appreciate the Chicago Bears and the organization for the opportunity. Blessed as always. Looking forward to what is next!
— Antrel Rolle (@antrelrolle26) May 1, 2016
Rolle could be an excellent mentor to Landon Collins, but he’d be better served doing so as a coach than a player at this point. Mykkele Thompson, Bennett Jackson, and Nat Berhe all figure to compete for the free safety spot, in addition to third round draft pick Darian Thompson. Rolle still has value as a player, but it’s probably with another team not named the G-men.
You also wonder what Rolle’s relationship is with GM Jerry Reese and coach Ben McAdoo. The two sides were clearly on different pages when Rolle left for Chicago after the 2014 season. However, Rolle spoke so highly of the New York Giants organization when Olivier Vernon reached out to him during the free agent process, you’d bet he’d welcome a return.
Tom Coughlin was still the head coach when Rolle last played in New York. Ben McAdoo doesn’t have nearly the same rapport with him, and probably wouldn’t have much input regarding a reunion.
All signs point to Antrel Rolle being a high character individual and teammate. He’s a veteran and a proven leader. There’s little doubt that his services will be coveted in the coming weeks.
While his return to Giant Blue would be welcomed by fans and media, it just doesn’t make much sense from a front office perspective. If the team were to offer him a cheap one year contract, then I don’t see much harm in giving him a shot to compete for a roster spot. But in all likelihood, he’s a better fit for another club.
Antrel Rolle is a tremendous leader and players gravitate to him. But if he still wants to play + gets a chance elsewhere, imo NYG not a fit
— Art Stapleton (@art_stapleton) May 1, 2016