Keep on rolling? Cardinals lose safety Rolle to Giants' five-year offer

The New York Giants have made Antrel Rolle the richest safety in NFL history.

NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reported Friday night that the Giants signed Rolle to a five-year, $37 million contract with $15 million guaranteed, according to a league source. Rolle is due $22.5 million in the first three years of the deal.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus tweeted the announcement late Friday, offering his personal congratulations to Rolle on becoming "the highest paid safety in NFL history!"

"I'm ecstatic," Rolle said after signing his contract around 11:15 p.m. ET. "Words can't really express how I feel now. I had five great years with the Cardinals organization. But I felt it was time for a change. The Giants are a first-class organization all the way. There are great opportunities for me, and I am excited to be working with the players I'll be working with. I think the sky's going to be the limit as to what we can do.

"I'm extremely excited for the opportunity, and I feel truly blessed. They have the confidence I can come in and be the player that they expect me to be, and I will live up to everything they expect and go beyond."

The signing fills a major need for the Giants, who lost Kenny Phillips to a serious knee injury early last season. Phillips is expected back this season, and having the two University of Miami products deep in the secondary should help a defense that struggled in 2009.

"Antrel is a young, ascending veteran player, and he is an outstanding person who will bring leadership, versatility and more big play ability to our secondary," Giants general manager Jerry Reese said.

Rolle, who was recently released by the Cardinals, had four interceptions last season. The one that impressed the Giants the most came in late October when he stepped in front of Steve Smith to intercept Eli Manning's pass around the Cardinals' 21-yard line with 68 seconds to play to nail down a 24-17 Arizona victory.

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New York had driven from its own 1-yard line in the final three minutes in an attempt to tie the score.

Arizona, which also lost linebacker Karlos Dansby to the Miami Dolphins late Friday, released Rolle on Thursday because it wanted to avoid paying him the $4 million roster bonus and the $8 million salary he was due. However, the battle for Rolle came down to the Giants and Cardinals, and Rolle chose New York after visiting with the team most of Friday.

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

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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