The Chicago Bears released safety Antrel Rolle earlier this offseason following a disappointing season that saw the 12-year-vet limited to just seven games due to injury. But as the newest member of the NFL's free agent market, Rolle could be sought after for his veteran leadership and experience. Even at 33 years old, he can still be a productive member of an NFL defense.
Consider this: last year was the first time Rolle had missed a game since the 2009 season. In 2014, he racked up 87 total tackles with one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and three interceptions. He can still play.
Rolle wants every team looking for safety help to know that he is "200 percent committed" to playing in 2016. He noted in a recent interview that he has been rehabbing his knee injury since January and that he is in "100 percent shape" and his "primary mission will always be to play ball."
And Rolle knows exactly where we want to play ball, too.
"New York is where my heart is," he said during the interview. "New York is where I feel comfortable, New York is a place where I would love to play."
Rolle spent five productive seasons with the New York Giants before signing with the Bears in free agency last offseason. As previously mentioned, he appeared in every single regular-season game during that stretch. He was a member of New York's Super Bowl winning team in 2011. Rolle believes a deal with the G-Men would "definitely make sense" for both sides.
But that may not be the case from the team's perspective. New York has a handful of young safeties who need playing time to develop. Landon Collins, Nat Berhe, Bennett Jackson, Mykkele Thompson and 2016 third-rounder Darian Thompson are all intriguing talents at the position. The Giants like Rolle and wanted to re-sign him at a more modest price last year. But now they appear to be addressing the safety position with a long-term view in mind.
Anything can happen in the NFL, and injuries did sideline Berhe, Jackson and Thompson last year. In a similar scenario, Rolle would be an ideal emergency addition. But for now, it would be surprising to see the Giants actively pursue Rolle on the open market.
Follow Brandon Katz at @Great_Katzby