Antrel Rolle confirmed Sunday via Twitter that he has been released by the Chicago Bears.
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
It didn't take long for the Twitter-verse to start asking about, if not outright clamoring for, a return to Big Blue for the former New York Giants safety and defensive captain. So, let's talk about it.
Someone will want Rolle. That much is obvious.
The #Bears have released Antrel Rolle. Rough timing now instead of earlier in the offseason. But he'll have a market.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 1, 2016
Had the Bears released Rolle a couple of months ago maybe, just maybe, that someone would have been the Giants. Now? With all the young safeties on the roster looking for opportunities? In my view, I see very little chance of that happening.
Rolle is now 33, coming off a season during which injuries limited him to just seven games, and much diminished from the player he was when he helped the Giants win a Super Bowl five seasons ago.
The Giants, to my understanding, didn't even make Rolle an offer a year ago when he hit the free agent market. My view is that the Giants might have kept him had he been willing to take a short-term offer, and perhaps begin to take a step back in terms of his role, both on the field and in the locker room. That, though, isn't in Rolle's nature. That's not a criticism, it's just the way I see it.
The Giants drafted a safety in the second round a year ago in Landon Collins. They drafted one in the third round this year in Darian Thompson. They also have recently-drafted players in Bennett Jackson, Nat Berhe, and Mykkele Thompson competing for roles. Yes, the last three were injured last season, but so was Rolle. The Giants want to see what those young guys can do.
Let's also not underestimate the fact that the Giants have a different head coach now than when Rolle was in New York previously. There is no existing relationship between Rolle and Ben McAdoo.
Point is, where is Rolle going to play for the Giants? The answer is, he probably isn't. With the Giants he would probably be little more than a veteran mentor, a reserve who helped teach the young guys. It's nice to have a guy like that, sure, but I don't see that "third wheel" kind of supporting role being one Rolle would be willing to play.
There are likely going to be teams willing to offer him more playing time than the Giants might, and knowing Rolle's belief in his ability he will almost certainly go to a place that offers him a starting role.