NFL: Giants sign Cards S Antrel Rolle for $37 million
By TOM CANAVAN
AP Sports Writer
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants have made Pro Bowler Antrel Rolle the richest safety in the NFL.
In the waning hours of the opening day of free agency, Rolle signed a five-year, $37 million contract that has $15 million in guaranteed money.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus tweeted the announcement late Friday, offering his personal congratulations to Rolle on becoming “the highest paid safety in NFL history!”
The signing fills a major need for the Giants, who lost Kenny Phillips to a serious knee injury early last season.
Phillips is expected back this season and having the two Miami products deep in the secondary should help a defense that struggled last year.
Rolle, who was recently released by the Cardinals, had four interceptions last season. The one that impressed the Giants the most came in late October when he stepped in front of Steve Smith to intercept an Eli Manning pass around the Cardinals 21-yard line with 68 seconds to play to nail down a 24-17 win.
New York had driven from its own 1-yard line in the final three minutes in an attempt to tie the game.
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.
Rolle was Arizona’s first-round pick, the eighth selection overall, out of Miami in 2005. He began his pro career as a cornerback but had most of his success after being switched to safety in 2008.
In 68 regular-season games, 59 as a starter, he had 12 interceptions, four forced fumbles and 1 1/2 sacks. In six postseason games, Rolle had an interception and a fumble recovery.