<
>

Rolle's position doesn't match value

Michael writes via Facebook: Is there any chance that Arizona retains Antrel Rolle and possibly moves him back to corner? Bryant McFadden is below average at best, and Greg Toler is a work in progress. Having playmakers like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Rolle couldn't hurt, could it?

Mike Sando: Changing positions once is hard enough. The Cardinals have invested quite a bit of time in getting Rolle acclimated to safety. And they made that move because Rolle wasn't the answer at cornerback. Moving him back to corner would necessitate another transition, and for what? I think it would weaken the free safety position while failing to provide the desired upgrade at corner.

The concept is instructive for another reason, however. The contract Rolle signed as a rookie assumed he would play cornerback, not safety. The compensation he is scheduled to earn in 2010 -- a $4 million roster bonus and $8.1 million in salary -- appears prohibitive for a safety with his credentials (two pretty good seasons, including one in which he made a Pro Bowl appearance as an alternate).

Elite corners earn about $9.5 million (based on the value for franchise players at the position). If Rolle were a top corner, the Cardinals might have an easier time justifying that $12 million compensation total if a long-term deal eluded them. They did just pay $9.678 million to linebacker Karlos Dansby. But with Rolle at safety, that $12 million would nearly double the $6.455 million average for elite safeties, as defined by the franchise player value.