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Assessing Antrel Rolle: A Cardinals' perspective

A Fanpost about Arizona Cardinals safety Antrel Rolle led to a pretty lively discussion the other day. So, with Arizona likely to release him rather than pay him a $4 million roster bonus, and the Giants having a gaping hole at safety, I reached out to our friends over at Revenge of the Birds for some thoughts on Rolle.

Andrew, lead blogger over at ROTB, sent a nice scouting report on Rolle. Follow the jump for it, and decide for yourself whether or not Rolle should be a player of interest for the Giants if/when he hits the open market.

Rolle can play multiple positions. When the Cardinals drafted him, he was a cornerback. Although he struggled at the position, he could fill in if there was a need. He also played the nickel cornerback and exceeded. When he made the transition to safety, there was an adjustment but eventually Rolle found his groove and became a very dependable safety. He can also return punts.
- He's a playmaker with the ball. Somehow, Rolle has a nose for the end zone. He's always a threat to return an interception or blocked kick for a touchdown. Rolle would bring exciting plays in the secondary to whichever team signs him.
- Solid tackler. He led the Cardinals several times throughout the season in tackles in a game and has very good form when wrapping up. He's not afraid of contact.
- Struggles in coverage. I'd be lying if I said Rolle was good cover safety. He has his moments where he completely whiffs on a play and gets caught out of coverage. He doesn't have top end speed to cover quick wide receivers, which is the primary reason he struggled at corner.
- Leadership skills are questionable. He's rarely been seen as a leader on the defense. It's relative though, some players just aren't leaders.

In the end, if the Giants were to sign Rolle, they'd be getting an experienced safety that's developing into one of the top in the league. I also believe he hasn't reached his full potential at safety yet. While he does struggle in coverage, it isn't a regular occurrence. He shouldn't be paid like Ed Reed, but he would shore up a need in the secondary of the Giants had one.

Sounds like a definite upgrade at safety as far as I'm concerned. This guy is only 27, and should have plenty of good seasons left. Personally, I can't think of a reason why the Giants wouldn't at least kick the tires and check the price tag.

Your thoughts?