NFL Free Agency: Antrel Rolle Moves On From New York Giants


NFL Free Agency: New York Giants Lose Defensive Leader To Chicago Bears

It was an expected move by the New York Giants, but one that will hurt nonetheless as safety Antrel Rolle moved on Wednesday night. Rolle, who has spent the last five season with Big Blue, was an unrestricted free agent looking to cash in one more time. The Giants were not interested in overpaying for what they felt was fair value, so Rolle was allowed to search the open market and find a better deal. Find a better deal he did, as Rolle will be taking his talents to Illinois to play with the Chicago Bears.

Rolle and the Bears agreed to a three-year, $11.25 million contract with $5 million guaranteed. Like Rolle has seen with the Giants in previous seasons, they are not afraid to allow their own aging free agents to hit the market and find more money, as they did with former cornerstones Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. Rolle, who will be 32 when the season begins, suffered the same fate as he will be moving on and ending his career somewhere else than he had hoped it would.

While Rolle was obviously getting up there in age, he gave everything he had to the Giants during his five year run with the team. He was a warrior, playing and starting every game of the last five seasons, something you just do not see happen anymore with free agent contracts. Usually something will come up and a player is released prior to his contract running out, but Rolle broke that mold and not only stuck out all five years, but played in every one.

With Rolle moving on, the Giants will be losing yet another strong leader on and off the field. Rolle was a defensive captain with the Giants, and brought the type of leadership teams can only dream to have. The outpouring support from Giants teammates shows just how great a teammate Rolle truly was, as plenty of Giants players wished him luck with the Bears and thanked him for everything he has taught them.

It is hard to deny that Rolle had an impact on players such as Prince Amukamara and Stevie Brown, both younger players that Rolle took under his wing and taught the ins and out and being an NFL player to. It will be a tough thing to replace, but it is something the Giants will have to do.

Not only will his veteran leadership be tough to replace, his production on the field is nothing to sneeze at either. Rolle is a three-time Pro Bowler, two of which came with the Giants, and was also a second team All-Pro twice with the Giants in 2010 and 2013. He was a playmaker in the Giants defensive secondary, recording 14 interceptions, five forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks to go with 464 tackles.

More from New York Giants

Rolle has been as good as the Giants could have hoped for on and off the field. It is sad to see him moving on, as he has been an instrumental part of the team for so many seasons, but at the end of the day this is still a business. The Bears are getting an outstanding player in Rolle, and even though he may be 32 years of age, he will bring more than just his playing ability on the field to a team in desperate need of a change on the defensive side of the ball.

To check out the tribute video that the Giants made for Rolle upon his departure, follow the link here to as they thank their starting safety of the last five years.

Next: Are New York Giants Closer To A Title Than New York Jets?

More from Empire Writes Back