If ever you needed a pill that would alert you to the impending free agency date of early March, the Pro-Bowl would be that pill. As this years event unfolds tonight in our very own Miami, all eye’s may be on the game but all ears on the “I would love to play in Miami” comments being thrown around.
It is after all, that time of year.
It’s not just Miami, it’s simply that Miami is all we really care about. Consider last week the Miami nation was rocked by innuendos of Vince Wilfork coming home. The former U defensive lineman has been saddled in New England his entire career and would “love to come home to Miami”. If only it was that easy. First, there of course is the issue of the inevitable franchise tag. Whether Wilfork wants it or not. Then there is the issue of Bill Belichick allowing Wilfork to play anywhere else in the AFC East. So basically, it won’t happen.
This weeks comment du’jour is being spewed by former local safety Antrel Rolle. Rolle of the Arizona Cardinals and the Pro-Bowl. A Miami native and U alum. So when he says he would “love to play in Miami someday” the first reaction is “WE GOT ‘EM”. But it’s never that easy.
This is, again, that time of year and Rolle is a very good example of this. Would he love to play in Miami? Sure he would. His parents are here, he is from here, but that does not mean he will take a pay cut to make it happen and when another team starts tossing dough his direction…he will be in that “I’m very excited to be here in Detroit” mode.
It’s all part of the game that revolves around free agency. Tell your prospective employers what you want to hear and leave no bridges burned. It’s literally as simple as that. Once the mid-night hour rolls around on the eve of free agency, all that “would love to” talk turns to “show me the money”.
In the case of Rolle, he is in the final year of his contract and is due an 8.1 million dollar roster bonus. The Cardinals are expected to try and re-sign him or may be forced to release him. The comments of “would love to” work both ways in any negotiation. The fact that Rolle says he is willing to leave allows him to maintain at least something looking like the upper hand. It lets the Cardinals know that he can walk if they don’t pony up the dough.
Ahhh, sometimes this time of year just makes us crazy.