When the free agency signing period began last Friday, March 5th, the Arizona Cardinals immediately found themselves in deep water. Starting defenders Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle, bolted to different teams to become the highest paid players at their positions.
Since then, we've had time to mull over the losses and discuss the impact it will have on the Cardinals, and also whether or not the Dolphins and Giants gave up too much for the former redbirds.
I'm curious as to what everyone thinks will come of them. Rolle was made the highest paid safety in NFL history - higher then Ed Reed, Troy Polamalu, and even our very own Adrian Wilson. Karlos Dansby was made the highest paid linebacker in the league, ahead of Patrick Willis, Ray Lewis, and 2008's Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison.
Meanwhile, most of us sat back and realized - after the initial shock of course - that the Cardinals may have received the better end of the stick. Neither one of these players had ever made a pro bowl(the exception being Antrel Rolle, who was named an alternate last year after Darren Sharper dropped out), and neither were ever in the talk of "best at their positions". Yet somehow, someway, they were paid like it.
As I get closer to my point, let me also explain that both players signed in much larger markets then Arizona - New York and Miami. Should Dansby and Rolle play to their newly signed contracts, which one stands the best chance at earning a pro bowl appearance next season?
Karlos Dansby will be entering his 8th season and will be planted in the middle of the 'Phins defense. Dansby has always been known as a play-making linebacker, especially when he averaged 5 sacks and 2 interceptions through the first six seasons of his career. He's been playing for a new contract the last two seasons and one would have to assume that his big payday and the new logo on the side of his helmet will motivate him to get back to his old ways.
After giving the Cardinals an opportunity to match any offers, free safety Antrel Rolle decided to turn his abilities over to the New York Giants. Rolle is only 27-years old and has gradually increased his production for the last two seasons he's been at safety. He's known for plays after the ball is in his hands and a defensive touchdown could surely win him over in New York.
Do you believe either of these former Cardinals will live up to their new contracts? Now that they're in new markets, which former Cardinal do you believe will make the pro bowl first and which will have the more successful season?