The Pro Bowl squads have finished their walk-thru before tomorrow's game and I had the opportunity to catch up with a player who has his eyes set on playing for the Dolphins:
Free safety Antrel Rolle.
Rolle, a former University of Miami star in the Pro Bowl for the first time, is in a sort of limbo right now because the Cardinals are scheduled to pay him $12.1 million in salary and a bonus in 2010. The idea behind having such a whopping figure in the final year of Rolle's contract is to force both sides to renegotiate a new deal or simply cut ties.
And while Rolle insists he loves the Cardinals, he also loves the idea of playing for the Dolphins in South Florida, where he grew up, played at South Dade High and The U.
"That would be nice," Rolle told me. "You know what I mean. I would love to take some of the burden off of mom and dad seeing as they travel to every game. Miami is home for me. I haven't played here in five years, but hey, we can make it happen."
Rolle repeated that his parent fly across country to every game he plays. That's 16 weeks of travel and he'd like to lighten their burden by giving them eight home games in Miami.
"I'm still a Cardinal right now, you know," he said. "I don't know what's going to happen. But I love the Cardinals and their organization. I've been good to them and they've been great to me also. Let's just see what plays out.
"I don't know what's going to play out. They haven't given me any indication. I know they want to keep me there. We're trying to keep our franchise together, but I don't know what they're thinking right now."
What Rolle is thinking is that if the Cardinals decide not to pay him his $12 million and release him he will be on the open market. And the first place he will look is Miami. It is important enough a topic to him that he has studied Miami's personnel situation at free safety and is aware Gibril Wilson was something of a bust last year and could be cut when the league year begins anew in March.
"I'm more than aware," Rolle told me.
This season Rolle had 72 tackles, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, one forced fumble and 1.5 sacks. Wilson had 91 tackles, eight passes defensed and one sack. He had no interceptions and caused no other turnovers.
Rolle, who lives in Homestead in the offseason, is not completely disconnected from the Cardinals yet. He said Kurt Warner's retirement was "bittersweet."
"I'm happy for him," Rolle said, "But he's defintely going to be missed. He's one of the persons that has been my inspiration and one of the leaders I've looked to."
Matt Leinart is expected to take over for Warner.
"Leinert, I think his time is up right now," Rolle said. "It's time for him to produce and be the player that Matt knows he can be and the player we all know he can be. We're going to be behind him 100 percent of the way and I think he'll do a good job there."
Assuming Rolle is there with Leinert. Big assumption.