Cardinals cut safety Rolle to save money, tender five players

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals released starting safety Antrel Rolle on Thursday, an expected move because the team wanted to avoid paying him the $4 million roster bonus and $8 million salary he's due.

Top 50 free agents

Pat Kirwan breaks down his list of the top 50 restricted and unrestricted free agents. Karlos Dansby ranks No. 2, and Antrel Rolle comes in at No. 10.

Cardinals general manager Rod Graves has indicated the team would be interested in re-signing Rolle. Arizona also has lost starting inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, who became an unrestricted free agent after being given the franchise tag the past two years.

Rolle was the Cardinals' first-round pick, the eighth selection overall, out of Miami in 2005. He began his pro career as a cornerback but had most of his success after being switched to safety in 2008.

In 68 regular-season games, 59 as a starter, Rolle had 12 interceptions, three forced fumbles and 1.5 sacks. In six playoff games, Rolle had one interception and one fumble recovery.

In addition, Arizona tendered one-year qualifying contract offers to five players -- wide receiver Steve Breaston, guard Deuce Lutui, center Lyle Sendlein, tight end Ben Patrick and nose tackle Gabe Watson.

Breaston received a first-round tender, which means that if another team makes an offer that the Cardinals decide not to match, they would receive a first-round draft pick as compensation. The other four players received second-round tenders, which gives Arizona the option of matching any offer or receiving a second-round draft pick from that team as compensation.

The two-time NFC West champion Cardinals had a number of personnel issues to resolve as free agency approached. Starting left tackle Mike Gandy is a free agent, and Matt Leinart is the lone quarterback under contract.

The Cardinals historically haven't gone for a big name in free agency, opting instead to spread around their money.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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