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Assessing Antrel Rolle: A Cardinals' perspective

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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.

Strengths:
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.
Weaknesses:
- 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.
Overview:

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?