Antrel Rolle will reach the open market this week in advance of the opening of free agency at 12:01 a.m. Friday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported what has been expected for some time, pointing out that the Arizona Cardinals will try to retain the free safety. They simply can’t keep him under the terms of his current contract, which calls for him to earn $12 million this season.
“We will continue to work with him and treat him as if he is a free agent we are pursuing,” Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said. “We’ve always been under the impression Antrel wanted to remain an Arizona Cardinal. We have been able to develop him and we have seen him develop into an outstanding player and we want to keep that relationship going.
“We’re not looking to lose quality players, but again, all of those decisions have to make sense to us from a team standpoint. Obviously he is a top priority.”
The reality is the Cardinals are in a position where they could be losing multiple quality players. Quarterback Kurt Warner has already retired. Linebacker Karlos Dansby is poised for an exit in free agency. The club is shopping wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
The reality is that Rolle would be foolish to reach an agreement on a new contract with the Cardinals before testing his value on the open market. He’s expected to be the top available safety and will surely be pursued by a handful of teams, with Chicago and Miami being mentioned prominently.
It makes no sense to not at least involve other bidders before Rolle makes a decision on his future home. With the Cardinals already heavily invested in strong safety Adrian Wilson, they could be in a tough spot. Stay tuned.
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