The Bears are in negotiations with free-agent safety Antrel Rolle, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday night.
The Bears are at no risk for tampering charges because Rolle had his contract terminated by the Cardinals on Thursday afternoon, joining a growing list of big-name free agents released during the day, including Lito Sheppard and Laveranues Coles. As such, Rolle isn’t bound to the midnight ET deadline and can sign immediately.
Rolle was due a reported $4 million bonus next week and another $8.1 million in base salary this season, prompting a release that many expected. It has been widely reported that the Cardinals would like to re-sign Rolle, but it remains to be seen what type of market could form for someone who’s one of the few starting-caliber defensive backs in his prime available in free agency.
NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora noted that the Bears, Cardinals, Dolphins and Giants are in the hunt for Rolle.
Rolle’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said earlier Thursday that Chicago would be a great spot for his client.
“The Bears would be an attractive team,” Rosenhaus told Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “Stay tuned.”
The Bears are void of draft picks because of the Jay Cutler trade and are expected to be heavy-spenders as they look to free agency for improvements. Biggs adds the Redskins — who would pair Rolle alongside LaRon Landry — as another team expected to have interest.
NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan lists Rolle, along with Darren Sharper and Ryan Clark, in the top tier of free agents.
“He is a safety with corner skills,” Kirwan said of Rolle. “He can match up on wide receivers and hybrid tight ends that cause problems in the slot. He is excellent at baiting quarterbacks and playing the ‘robber’ role.”