When the Arizona Cardinals released safety Antrel Rolle, there were some that thought he could fill one of the Chiefs biggest holes this offseason. Instead, the veteran will take his talents to the NFC East and be paid a historic amount to do it.
The New York Giants agreed to a five-year, $37 million deal with Rolle. Rolle is guaranteed $15 million and will receive $22.5 million over the first three years.
“I’m ecstatic,” Rolle said in a statement released by the Giants.
The signing fills a major need for the Giants, who lost Kenny Phillips to a serious knee injury early last season.
Arizona, which also lost linebacker Karlos Dansby to Miami late Friday, released Rolle on Thursday because it wanted to avoid paying him the $4 million roster bonus and the $8 million salary he was due.
However, the battle for Rolle came down to the Giants and Cardinals, and Rolle chose New York after visiting with the team most of Friday.
In 68 regular-season games, 59 as a starter, he had 12 interceptions, four forced fumbles and 1½ sacks. In six postseason games, Rolle had an interception and a fumble recovery.
Along with Boldin and Dansby, Rolle led the charge of available players that Todd Haley was familiar with from his days in Arizona. A lot of the trouble Kansas City had at safety last season would have been immediately taken care of with Rolle in the fold, but Clark Hunt was never going to go near those guaranteed dollars, preventing the Chiefs from ever being in the hunt.
Scott Pioli has said the Chiefs would be very active in free agency and could do it — just like last year — without any big name free agents. After a flurry of activity throughout the first day, it sure looks like that will be the case.
This team can get better without bringing in top shelf free agents.