Antrel Rolle didn’t fare quite as well in his first year as a NY Giant. In fact, he earned the dubious distinction of grading out as the worst cover safety in all of football for the 2010-2011 season and 79th out of 85 safeties overall. Certainly not what one thought would be when Antrel signed for close to 40 million. In his defense, he did grade out in the upper third of the league in defense against the run and certainly was a positive influence in the Giants overall defensive ranking, placing 7th in the league. It could be argued that the less than stellar corner coverage and new defensive schemes were somewhat culpable in the abysmal numbers Rolle put up. Rolle is too good an athlete not to vastly improve his coverage and with another year under the tutelage of Perry Fewell I expect him to perform much better in 2011-2012.
Deon Grant, taking about a third less snaps, placed a respectable 49th although his run defense was suspect and will have to improve if he is to keep a roster spot. He is getting a little long in the tooth (in football years) and may be vulnerable for the backup spot but I do like his physicality and solid if not spectacular play.
With the deft drafting of The Prince, who will probably play a corner position, the Giants have a number of options at the safety position including moving Terrell Thomas to a safety position. Newly minted Tyler Sash has a real chance to make the team. Michael Johnson and a number of undrafted free agents will round out the competition for safety positions. It would seem that the Giants are safe knowing that Rolle and Phillips will be on station, firmly entrenched at the safety position. Of course the job of an organization’s front office is to fully vet all free agents, irrespective of perceived needs. As such I will propose my top 5 free agent safeties, with kudos going to ProFootballFocus for their invaluable assistance- I would be very surprised if the Giants make any offers to any safeties but if I had my druthers I would go after Dawan Landry, a physical hitter in the mold of Ronny Lott.