In the aftermath of the Giants signing of Antrel Rolle to a big money contracts (about $15 million guaranteed and $37 million or so over five years), some are applauding the G-men for filling a huge hole in their secondary (especially given the fact that Kenny Philips may or may not be back healthy, and more importantly, we don’t know if the real Kenny Philips will be back at an impact level), some are damning the G-men (yes there are haters out there; See Peter King’s Monday morning column which is not so favorable for the G-men).
In addition to questioning the big money give to Rolle, King pours a little salt in the wound that is the Chris Canty deal of 2009. Historically, the Giants have not been major players on the free agent market, but that changed in 2009 and again at the start of 2010 with the signing of Rolle. But let’s not start saying that the Giants are the new Redskins just yet. With Canty, the Giants paid for a guy who is versatile, young, durable (obviously, not in 2009) and (hopefully) only going to get better. Canty was never healthy last year and only started to get into form during the last month of the season, big expectations loom for 2010 and sometimes a disappointing season serves as a little extra motivation, let’s hope that is the case because Canty is big and talented, now he needs to stay healthy and put it all together.
Rolle is not one of the top five safeties in the league, regardless of his contract. That being said, Rolle is talented enough to become one of the top five safeties in the league and the Giants had no choice but to pay up (can you imagine what the masses would say if the Giants entered the season without adding any talent to the safety position?). Plus, Rolle’s skill set is perfect for this defense. Add onto that reports that Darren Sharper went under the knife for the dreaded “knee scope,” right before free agency started (and Sharper is 34 and not exactly a great fit in Perry Fewell’s aggressive scheme), paying Rolle makes even more sense.
In back to back seasons Reese has spent big money on guys who are entering the prime of their careers, have proven to be durable, and add the versatility that Reese looks for on the defensive side of the ball. No one will talk about 2009 and big contracts if Canty plays strong, Boley stays healthy and makes some big plays (and he will have to otherwise his stint in blue will be short lived) and Rolle helps contain the big play passing games of the Cowboys and Redskins).
Reese has more work to do on both sides of the ball. Expect the Giants to cautiously work through the rest of the free agent period, I wouldn’t mind seeing former Tampa Buc Jermaine Philips on a incentive laden deal; as mentioned over and over again, the G-men may look into Kirk Morrison, and there is that pesky issue of a backup quarterback as well. Stay tuned Blue!