The Antrel Rolle Signing is Like Chinese Food

The Giants did their best to make everyone think they were going to approach the free agency spending spree the way Jerry Seinfeld's parents approached a dinner after the Early Bird Special was over, yet there they were Friday night making Antrel Rolle one of the highest-paid safeties in NFL history. An impressive smoke screen put up by Jerry Reese and the rest of the Giants and one that got them a good player.

A good player, not the great player the salary would indicate. We won't quibble too much about dollars and cents. It's an uncapped year, no one in the Mara family is crying poverty and desperate times call for desperate measures. In the Giants secondary, these are desperate times. With Kenny Phillips's future uncertain because of knee problems, the Giants couldn't let finances get in the way of upgrading their safeties.

Rolle does that. He's not the best tackler nor the best coverage guy in the business, but he's more than competent in both areas. That's a lot more than you can say about C.C. Brown and Michael Johnson. If Phillips is healthy enough to play at 100 percent, the Giants will have a pair of rangy, athletic safeties to protect the back of their defense next season.

That's a big if, though, and if things go the other way then you've still got one good safety and one mediocre one playing behind a defense that looks just as bad as the one that got humiliated down the stretch last season. Perry Fewell's new schemes may mitigate some of their struggles, but the linebackers are still an underwhelming group and the defensive line is still one that couldn't generate any meaningful pressure on quarterbacks who didn't play for crap teams.

If that happens again, it doesn't much matter who you have playing safety. Defenses that can't pressure the quarterback give up big passing plays and Rolle's not going to change that equation. What's more, if Phillips is healthy -- and the Giants keep claiming that he'll be fine -- then the Giants have just doubled down at one of the few positions of strength in a defense with plenty of holes. They tried that last year, and it didn't work out too well for them.

In short, the Rolle signing is good but it's hard to see how much better the defense is because of it. It's reminiscent of a Chinese meal that's awfully tasty while you're enjoying it but does nothing to stop you from feeling hungry in an hour. Perhaps it is unfair to expect any one move to leave fans satisfied, but if the Giants are being honest then this is the only move we're getting. At least Chinese food comes with a fortune cookie.

Click here to order Antrel Rolle's proCane Rookie Card.

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