2010 NFL Free Agency: Dolphins Make Offer to Antrel Rolle, Release Gibril Wilson

Michael PintoSenior Writer IMarch 5, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 22:  Antrel Rolle #21 of the Arizona Cardinals rushes with the football during the preseason NFL game against the San Diego Chargers at the Universtity of Phoenix Stadium on August 22, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Chargers defeated the Cardinals 17-6.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have reportedly made a five-year, $30 million to $35 million offer to former Arizona Cardinals' safety Antrel Rolle.

Those numbers are slightly below the $8 million per year salary Rolle's seeking, but as of Friday afternoon talks were ongoing between the Dolphins and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

The New York Giants appear to have significantly more money on the table in their bid for the All-Pro's services, but the Dolphins aren't out of the running yet.

Florida has no state income tax, but in New York Rolle would lose around 10 percent of his contract's value in state and city income taxes; this certainly weighs heavily into the financial equation.

Rolle has also stated in the past his desire to return to Florida, where many of his family and friends reside. He played his college ball at the University of Miami and was a fan favorite as one of the team's defensive leaders.

The welcome he'd receive in Dolphins land is likely to be far more pleasant than that of the notoriously critical New York press. Players know what kind of pressure comes with being a member of any of New York's professional teams; any slip-up is met with extreme scrutiny.

It's safe to say that the Dolphins' offer, while below Rolle's asking price, comes with somewhat of a hometown bonus. It may yet be enough to take him off the market.

In a related story, the Dolphins are set to release incumbent starting free safety Gibril Wilson after just one season with the team; the news was first reported by Wilson's agent, Alvin Keels.

Wilson struggled throughout the year and had one of the least productive campaigns of his seven-year career. The move comes as no surprise, as it has been speculated for months the team would void his deal to avoid having to pay out the remainder of his $27 million contract. 

At the NFL Scouting Combine, Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland seemed confident Wilson would improve in his second season and spoke as if the 28-year-old was set to remain with the franchise.

In light of Friday's news, Ireland's stance appears to have been more of a smoke screen than a legitimate vote of confidence in the struggling safety.

His release signals not only the Dolphins' confidence in second-year safety Chris Clemons—who replaced Wilson as a starter for two games last season—but also the team's desire to seriously pursue Rolle in free agency.

Miami wouldn't have released its starter without at least an inclination that a deal with the former Hurricane standout was possible. Rolle, who has 12 career interceptions, would give the Dolphins a seriously imposing secondary.

Strong safety Yeremiah Bell was selected as an injury replacement in the 2010 Pro Bowl, and second-year corners Vonte Davis and Sean Smith showed great potential in their rookie seasons. 

Adding Rolle to the mix would likely erase question marks about a unit that finished 24th against the pass in 2009. The only question remaining is whether the Dolphins are willing to fork over enough cash to make that happen.


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