The play out of the Bears' safety position has been downright embarrassing for years now, and it appears the new regime at Halas Hall is well aware of that (then again, who isn't?).
On Wednesday night, the Bears signed veteran safety Antrel Rolle to a three-year, $11.25 million deal, with $5 million guaranteed.
According to @RosenhausSports, #Bears agreed to deal with safety Antrel Rolle on a 3-yearr, $11.25M deal ($5 million guaranteed).
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 12, 2015
Rolle, 32, has played 10 seasons in the NFL, and is a three-time Pro Bowl selection.
While Rolle's Pro Bowl days may be in the past as he's lost a step compared to his earlier years, he's still a steady presence at safety with terrific instincts and playmaking skills. Rolle intercepted nine passes over the 2013 (six interceptions) and 2014 (three interceptions) seasons with the New York Giants. He also deflected 21 passes over those two seasons, and has forced a fumble in every season since 2009.
Aside from being a clear upgrade over what the Bears had at the safety position last year (and pretty much every year since Mike Brown's days ended), Rolle surely was attractive to the Bears because of his leadership skills. That's especially the case following the circus of last season and the new regime wanting to change the culture around Halas Hall (see: the Brandon Marshall trade, the Jay Cutler trade rumors, etc).
Tom Coughlin was Rolle's head coach with the Giants for the last five seasons, and raved about Rolle as a leader at the NFL Combine last month:
"He's an outstanding young man and really I've never come across a player that was more interested in his team and trying to help his team be better in any way they could," Coughlin said. "I think countless Tuesday's Antrel was in my office with, 'How can we get better? What can we do to get better?' Just thoughts going back and forth between coach/player, in terms of how our team could improve.
"I don't think I was ever involved with a player that was more sincerely interested in how his team could improve. And I admire that very much in him as a young man and a leader."Giants veteran punter Steve Weatherford tweeted similar thoughts:
Never had a better teammate, leader, and friend then @antrelrolle26 The @ChicagoBears are lucky to have you! #AlwaysAGiant #NYG
— Steve Weatherford (@Weatherford5) March 12, 2015
There are several reports that the Bears and free-agent safety Ron Parker (also a potential starter) are meeting at Halas Hall, and that an agreement could be reached there as well. So, Ryan Pace and company are not messing around in their efforts to upgrade the safety position this offseason.
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