New York Giants notes: Why is Rolle's contract such an issue?

SI.com's Peter King is not impressed by the New York Giants signing of Antrel Rolle.

In the middle of a rant disparaging the usefulness of big-name, big-money signings (which I generally agree with) King listed the Rolle signing as among the three worst decisions of free agency thus far (which I disagree with).

The Giants paying Antrel Rolle like the best safety in football when he hasn't performed that way. Rolle was the second-best safety on his own team. How many times have you watched Arizona play and said, "Rolle controlled that game?'' Never. He's never had a 100-tackle season in five years (not that that's the measuring stick for a great DB). He has intercepted 12 passes in five season(s) and forced three fumbles in 68 career games. I think he's a nice player, not a dominant one.

This is the second straight year the Giants have paid a free-agent defender franchise-player money. Last year it was Chris Canty's six-year, $42-million deal; now it's $37 million for Rolle over five. Canty was hurt much of last season, but GM Jerry Reese needs Canty and Rolle to be the players he paid for or he's going to feel heat for the first time in his short but illustrious GM career.

King is obviously thinking about this purely from the perspective of the dollars in the contract. He isn't thinking about it like the general manager of a football team, which is the perspective from which the signing has to be viewed in my opinion.

Let's turn the clock back to 2009. The Giants got killed by some last summer for making Eli Manning the highest-paid player in football. Is Eli the best player in football, or the best quarterback? Not close. Not even in the discussion.

Is he, however, currently the most important player to the New York Giants football franchise? Without a doubt. And that's not even close. It really is not even be a discussion.

The Giants did not give Eli $106 million because they thought he was the best player in the game. They gave him $106 million because his contract was up, it was Eli's turn to get paid big money, and the $106 million was simply the market price the Giants had to pay to keep their Super Bowl-winning franchise quarterback and not set their team back five or six years.

The Rolle situation is similar, although not as dramatic for its impact on the franchise.

Is he the best safety in the game? Nope. Not close. Is he a darn good football player? Yes. And he happened to be the best available player at a position where the Giants had a desperate need. On top of which, he had several other suitors. The Giants simply paid the market price for trying to make themselves a better football team. And the instant Rolle put his name on a New York Giants contract, they did just that.

So, Peter King you can whine and sniffle all you want about how the Giants 'overpaid' because they made a guy who is not the best safety in the NFL the league's highest-paid safety. The Giants did what they felt they had to do in an effort to shore up a devastating weakness and give fans what they want -- a winning team.

The fact that Rolle is now the highest-paid safety is irrelevant. It was his time to get paid, and that is simply how the system works.

Free Agent Notes

Fred Robbins officially signed with the St. Louis Rams on Monday. Good luck, Fred! I wonder if that means the Rams are leaning toward QB Sam Bradford as the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft. ... The Giants won't sign former Indianapolis backup QB Jim Sorgi right away. They are apparently worried about Sorg's shoulder. ... Ernie Palladino says the Giants also do not appear to be showing interest in Jeff Garcia or Mark Brunell. Not yet, anyway.

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