With a $4 million roster bonus due next week ($8 million total base salary due for 2010), the Arizona Cardinals brass will no doubt be racking its brains trying to figure out what to do with its Pro Bowl safety Antrel Rolle; either pay the man or release him.
The Cowboys, who are in need of a playmaking free safety, should keenly be watching what develops with Rolle and the Cardinals.
Ken Hamlin currently mans that spot for the Cowboys, but his status is in question with $5.6 million due to him this upcoming season.
Because only a bit over $1 million of that is guaranteed money, the Cowboys could decide this is the best time to cut bait with the under-productive Hamlin and save millions.
Hamlin has been downright inept in terms of playmaking the past two seasons. In the 28 games he's played in since his 2007 Pro Bowl season, Hamlin has registered just
one INT, four PD, one sack, and one FF.
Wade Phillip has tried to temper criticism of Hamlin in the past by labeling him Hamlin the "quarterback of the secondary" and alluding to the importance of him "lining people up."
The reality is it's just the football equivalent of being the ugly girl with a nice personality.
Nobody is buying it, not even the team owner.
Coming from the mouth of the head honcho himself during the middle of last season, Jerry Jones said he would like to see more playmaking from the safety position.
Enter in Antrel Rolle.
Drafted as a cornerback and the eighth overall pick out of the University of Miami 2005 Draft, Rolle received a career revival after making the transition to free safety during the 2008 season.
In the past three seasons he's tallied 10 INTs (four returned for TDs), 23 PD, 1.5 sacks, and one FF.
At age 27, Rolle is an emerging playmaker the Cowboys desperately need. The team only totaled 11 interceptions in 2009, only one of which came from the safety positions.
The addition of Rolle might be costly, but the Cowboys may view it as a necessary cost for a team on the brink of making a Super Bowl run.
Further, addressing the free safety position would allow the Cowboys to focus on one less position during the upcoming Draft.
Bottom-line, is Antrel Rolle the next Ed Reed?
No, but more importantly, he's not Ken Hamlin.