NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Antrel Rolle says he hasn’t talked with the Giants “at all” about a new contract.
The outspoken safety still wants to return to New York. But he told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Friday that the team doesn’t owe him anything — and he’s not indebted to the Giants, either.
“As far as I’m concerned, come March 10, I’ll be a free agent,” Rolle said.
The Giants signed Rolle to a five-year, $37 million contract in 2010. Teams can begin negotiating with unrestricted free agents Saturday, though deals can’t be officially consummated until 4 p.m. Tuesday.
“I don’t know what the future holds,” Rolle said. “The same thing happened with myself in Arizona. You know, Arizona tried to get be back, and at the end of the day it was between Arizona and the Giants, and I chose the Giants. The Giants will be willing to do whatever they want to do, and they’ll be well within their rights. And the same thing goes for myself. I’m willing to do whatever I want to do, and I’ll be well within my rights. No one owes anyone anything to this point. I think we’ve done extremely well by one another. The Giants have done phenomenal (by me). I think I’ve done the same thing by them.”
Rolle overcame a rocky start with Giants coach Tom Coughlin, winning a Super Bowl ring in Feb. 2012 and becoming the undisputed leader of the defense following the departure of Justin Tuck. Coughlin said last month that he wanted Rolle back while citing “financial restrictions.”
The 32-year-old Rolle said he hasn’t spoken with the team since exit day, immediately following New York’s 6-10 finish, its fifth time missing the playoffs in six years. He said general manager Jerry Reese “pretty much laid everything out for me, let me know that they’re going to allow me to test the market, you know, to see my worth and see my value.”
“They would love to have me back, but obviously there’s going to be some competition,” Rolle said. “And I told (Reese), I understood. I understood the process. I understood how things go. This is not my first rodeo.”
Rolle had 87 combined tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and three interceptions for the Giants in 2014. He’s never missed a game in five seasons with the Giants.
“You want to win and obviously that’s first and foremost,” Rolle said. “But at the same time, you also want to get what you deserve as a player. I’m not here to break the bank, ask for $10 million a year or $8 million a year. I’m here to get what I deserve. Give me what I deserve as a player.”
Last season was a drop-off from 2013, when he led the Giants in tackles (106) and interceptions (six). But Rolle has added value in the locker room, as anyone who has listened to his weekly reports on WFAN radio would know.
“If you feel like I’m a slouch as a player, then you pay me as a slouch. But if you feel like I’m the player that I know I am, and that I’ve displayed over numerous years, then you know, let’s make something happen,” Rolle said. “Because you know once you’re gonna get me, you’re gonna get someone who doesn’t come out of the game no matter what. Someone who’s gonna not miss a practice no matter what. Someone who’s gonna scratch and claw and gut-wrench no matter what. You’re gonna get an absolute dog on the field no matter what.
“So what do you want (in) a player? You’re gonna get a leader who’s gonna lead and doesn’t care who has what to say about it, no matter what. This is the kind of guy that you’re gonna get.”
“Like I said, I’m excited about free agency, man,” he added. “I’m excited about my next move. If it’s back with the Giants, great. If it’s not back with the Giants, the Giants will always be my second home. I love the Giants to death. I’ve had a phenomenal time there. But if it’s my time to move on, it’s my time to move on.”