The New York Giants are at a major crossroads in the Tom Coughlin-era. With the team eliminated from playoff-contention earlier than they had hoped so for the second straight year, some major decisions are being discussed about. From a player-standpoint safety and team captain Antrel Rolle will hit NFL free agency if a contract agreement is not met before the open market-period.
Rolle was brought on at the beginning of the 2010 season from the Arizona Cardinals and has grown into being a leader on and off the field, often at times holding defensive back bonding sessions at his house. He stands up for his teammates and even supported Prince Amukamara‘s on-field development due to the cornerback getting married during this past offseason.
Rolle becoming a leader is what they needed after the departure of defensive end Justin Tuck to the Oakland Raiders.
There were times where Rolle was not able to mask his immaturity. Rolle was not the most admired player while in Arizona, the organization that brought him in the league and then let him walk in free agency.
Back in 2011 after a December loss to the Washington Redskins while the Giants were at home, reports surfaced that Rolle wanted out of New York after being swept by the division rival and receiving a blow to their playoff hopes. Of course, going on to win Super Bowl XLVI patches things up quite a bit.
Going back to as recent as last week’s win 36-7 win over the Tennessee Titans on a return interception for a touchdown by cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Rolle was seen “photographing” Rodgers-Cromartie during a celebration post-touchdown. Head Coach Tom Coughlin was displeased about it, more-so with the penalty for excessive celebration being tacked on after the shenanigan.
With the Giants looking to be coming off of a long losing-streak during the course of that game and Rodgers-Cromartie making a play on the ball after battling injuries, adrenaline flowing makes it is hard to blame those two for having a little fun during the long season. But acting like they have been there before, regarding making big plays, would have been the better course of action during such a humbling 2014 season.
After making a base salary of $7 million in each of the past couple seasons, Rolle is likely to command a similar amount throughout a multi-year deal in what will likely be his last chance to cash in at 31 years of age. It is easy for him to garner that amount in free agency given his experience and leadership from a Super Bowl championship team from 2011. He will without a doubt make any team better.
The Giants have way too many questions than answers at the moment. Safety is a position that they should not feel obligated to invest in while heading into this upcoming offseason. The decisions about the durations for or whether to extend to quarterback Eli Manning and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul‘s tenures in New York are heavier subjects.
Should the Giants bring back Rolle? Comment below with your thoughts.