FS Antrel Rolle (Stephen Dunn/Getty)
The Cardinals employ the NFL's fourth- and fifth-highest paid safeties, but Arizona is still looking for more return on its investment. Antrel Rolle is expected to pick up the slack, but his move to safety leaves a huge void at cornerback.
The Cardinals have confirmed that Antrel Rolle will move from corner to free safety. The popular sentiment is that the move was long overdue. However, because the Cardinals lacked depth at corner during the 2007 season, they stuck it out with Rolle in man-to-man coverage.
Rolle’s shift is bad news for Terrence Holt, who is out of a starting job one year after signing a five-year, $15-million contract.
Rolle can empathize with Holt’s position. Rolle did not move into the golden-boy role until Week 11 when he intercepted three Carson Palmer passes, returning two for touchdowns.
"It just goes to show that character is your biggest asset," Rolle said. “I never pouted, never ranted and raved, never became a cancer to this team."
Holt must share the same attitude if he hopes to continue his employment in the desert. Whether he stays or goes will have a big impact on the Cardinals' roster.
Holt posted 69 tackles and nothing else last season. As the fourth-highest paid safety in the league, his tie for 48th on the leader boards just didn’t cut it.
Holt is scheduled to earn more than Adrian Wilson next season, a fact the Cardinals are eager to rectify. Wilson, whose game was put on pause last season by a heel injury, is deserving of his status as the NFL's fifth-highest paid safety.
Wilson has only two years left on his contract and is eager for a new deal. Perhaps the Cardinals can use the money they save by releasing or restructuring Holt to pay their more deserving safety.
With all the esteem Rolle’s move brings the safeties, the corners will suffer even more. Arizona needs an immediate starter. Draft possibilities are projected first-rounders Mike Jenkins out of South Florida and Antoine Cason of South Florida.
Cardinalinsider.com will be in Indianapolis for the NFL Combine to see how the Cardinals plan to fill their gaping hole at cornerback.
Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications.