Antrel Rolle said last week that he always will consider the Giants to be his family. They just won't be his team.
The safety agreed to a three-year, $11.25-million contract with the Bears last night, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus. The contract includes $5 million guaranteed.
The Giants were not expecting to re-sign Rolle, 32. They had left the door open for a possible return if the free-agency market allowed. The Bears made sure it did not. Rolle visited there yesterday and ended the day with the contract.
Rolle played every game during his five-year contract with the Giants, a remarkable feat in this age of player movement and salary cap cuts. He helped the team win Super Bowl XLVI by playing out of position for most of the year. Rolle had a strong voice in the locker room from the time he arrived in 2010 from the Cardinals, but it wasn't always in line with Tom Coughlin's message, especially early in his tenure. He eventually accepted Coughlin's ways, though, and was a defensive captain in each of the last two seasons.
Rolle's departure is the second time in two offseasons that the Giants have lost a defensive captain to free agency -- and without much of a financial fight from the team. Last year it was Justin Tuck who walked away to the Raiders.
Rolle's absence makes the Giants' needs at safety even more glaring. They do not have a player on their roster who has started an NFL game at the position. They remain in talks with free agent Stevie Brown about returning to the team, but are also interested in other free agents including Kansas City's Ron Parker. They will also likely have interest in pursuing Bucs safety Dashon Goldson if he is released by the team, as expected.
Coughlin, others inked. The Giants announced the finalization of a one-year extension for coach Tom Coughlin, which was expected. He is now under contract through the 2016 season, which allows the Giants to keep with their longstanding tradition of not having a head coach in the final year of his deal . . . The Giants also re-signed three of their own free agent players: LB Mark Herzlich, FB Henry Hynoski and RB Chris Agbonnaya . . . The Giants officially announced the signings of five free agents that were reported Tuesday: RB Shane Vereen, WR/KR Dwayne Harris, LBs Jonathan Casillas and J.T. Thomas, and OL Marshall Newhouse . . . CB Walter Thurmond signed a one-year deal with the Eagles as a free agent. Thurmond signed with the Giants last offseason but played only two games before tearing his pectoral and going on injured reserve.