Antrel Rolle curious why ‘phenomenal’ Giants moved on

The Giants on Thursday bid adieu to Antrel Rolle with a video tribute entitled “Thank You Antrel,’’ and, in turn, he tweeted, “I miss you all already and I love y’all so much. U will always have a Giant in me.’’

So, why did the Giants allow their defensive captain to walk out the door without much of an effort to get him to stay?

“I asked myself the same question,’’ Antrel Rolle said Thursday morning on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Rolle pretty much knew the answer. The Giants were headed in a different direction, wanting to get younger at the safety position. Rolle needed to continue his NFL career elsewhere, and Wednesday he headed to Chicago and signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract with the Bears.

Rolle arrived in 2010 and did not miss a game in his five years with the Giants. At 32, he wanted to return, but it wasn’t to be.

“It’s part of the business,’’ Rolle said. “They have their own set of goals and things they want to make happen, and I respect that entirely. The Giants were phenomenal to me for the last five years and I was phenomenal to them, so they didn’t owe me a thing and I didn’t owe them anything, just my warmth and my heart and just everything I put out there on the field for the last five years.’’

The decision, Rolle said, came down to the Bears and the Redskins, with the Broncos, Jets and Eagles also expressing interest.

“I’m a huge believer in going with your heart and going with your gut instinct, and these guys made such a huge impression on me once I first touched ground in Chicago,’’ Rolle said.

I just want to take this time to tell the organization., coaches, media department, cleaning staff, cafeteria staff, THE FANS,& more than ANYTHING MY TEAMMATES that I love u all dearly. This was the hardest decision that I ever had to make in my life. It's never easy when u have so many emotions involved and u have sooo much love for a place. NY is the only place that I call home away from home. You all have been so great to me and honestly I love you all to death for it. You all have me so many priceless memories that will never ever be forgotten. Once a Giant always a Giant and I sincerely believe in that. Moving on is a part of life and it's a part of business. I had to do what was best for my family and I. I want to make my son proud of his father and to continue to do that I had to go forward with my plan! NY is tattooed on my chest so just know I will be a Giant and a New Yorker forever. Love u all. See you on the other side. #WhereTrel@ #flipagram made with @flipagram

A video posted by @skilled_26 on

The presence of John Fox, entering his first year as Bears head coach, and Vic Fangio in his first year as defensive coordinator, helped convince Rolle to stay put in Chicago.

“For one, I study a lot of defenses, and coach Fangio was with the 49ers for the last several years and we all know their defense was phenomenal,’’ Rolle said. “I love the way he played his safeties. Coach Fox, it was just a breath of fresh air, he’s such a people person and such a down-to-earth and real individual man, he just made me feel very, very welcome.

“The most important thing, as a player and this being my 11th year, you want to go where a team makes you feel wanted, you want to go where a team make you feel they’re gonna appreciate you, therefore you’re gonna fight extra hard for them. These guys have been doing it since free agency, those guys have been calling my phone and making me feel really at home. It wasn’t really a hard decision for me to make as far as wish team I wanted to pursue in this next journey.’’

The Giants need to add a safety, considering they have none of them on the roster with any NFL starts. Most of the top-rated safeties already have signed elsewhere, with Rahim Moore on Thursday getting a three-year, $12 million deal with the Texans. The Giants have interest in Ron Parker, a Chiefs starter last season, but Parker is visiting with the Bears. Also on the market: Darian Stewart, who started 14 games last season for the Ravens.

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