Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Rolle recruiting Finley to Giants
By Matt Ehalt
NEW YORK -- Antrel Rolle has played various positions in the Giants secondary, and he's now trying out a new role: general manager.
Rolle said he's giving a pitch to Packers free-agent TE Jermichael Finley on joining the Giants next season. The Giants could need a new starting tight end next season if they void the remaining years left on Brandon Myers' deal.
Antrel Rolle wants to see Jermichael Finley in blue.
The safety watched the Super Bowl with Finley on Sunday.
"We were recruiting each other," Rolle said before being honored at the Thurman Munson Awards Dinner. "He said he would love to be a part of the Giants. And going up against this guy for a number of years now, I said I would love for him to be a part of the Giants so we don't have to face him. He's an extreme talent. He's an exceptional guy and more important, I know he's a fiery guy. I think that's something we could definitely use on the offensive side of the ball."
The Giants received little production from their tight end this past year, as Myers, who doesn't add much as a blocker, flopped. He caught 47 passes for 522 yards and four touchdowns, struggling to make a difference. His most memorable play was failing to catch a high pass from Eli Manning that went off his hands and resulted in a game-clinching interception in a loss to Chicago.
The Giants can get out of their contract with Myers, which could open the door for Finley, an athletic specimen and game-changer when healthy. Finley's season was cut short after suffering an injury and undergoing spinal fusion surgery, but Finley has said he will play again. There is no guarantee, though, that he will suit up for an NFL game again. Finley caught only 25 passes for 300 yards and three touchdowns last season, and can be a mismatch for linebackers and corners.
Finley also has a connection with new Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, who coached tight ends in Green Bay. Rolle consulted Finley about what McAdoo will instill into a unit that was one of the worst in the NFL in 2013.
"He was telling me that McAdoo is a brain. He's going to keep defenses guessing, he's very smart. I just said, 'Yes!' " Rolle said. "I think our offense is going to excel in his system and Eli is going to do what he does best, which is lead our offense."
Rolle has one year left on his deal, and said there has been no contact with the Giants about his contract. He carries a big cap hit next season, so the Giants could look to extend him to lower that number, or make him a salary-cap casualty, although there's no indications they will do that.
As the Giants try to catch up to Seattle and produce a defense on par with the Super Bowl champions, Rolle wants to see more attention to detail this upcoming season. The Giants finished eighth in total yards allowed in 2013.
"Just guys taking more initiative and more focus on their craft and understanding our defense in and out," Rolle said. "There were some times throughout the year where coach [Perry] Fewell was restricted from running certain defenses that I know he loved to run. It takes everyone. It's a collective effort."
He added: "You got to have guys that study and go way beyond the X's and O's."