Sometime today Antrel Rolle will arrive for a meeting with the Giants, and he'll be the first big-time free agent to be wooed and presumably wowed by the Timex Performance Center.

In years past, when the Giants brought in free agents, there wasn't much of a tour to give them. The locker room was in the bowels of Giants Stadium. There was a long trudge down the slick ramp to get there. The 1970's-style wood-paneled meeting rooms were across the cold hallway. The weight room was unimpressive. The "players lounge" at the old Giants Stadium was basically a storage area adjacent to the locker room where someone stuck a sofa and a TV. And I can only imagine what players thought when they first saw the practice bubble.

Now, they have a jewel in the Timex Performance Center, which reportedly cost the team $90 million. It is 100,000 suqare feet of football in brick and steel. They have a huge weight room. A beautiful locker room. A gorgeous field house for indoor practices. A sparkling cafeteria. An auditorium for team meetings and classrooms for smaller gatherings. The training room is stacked with all of the latest medical toys and gizmos. It's all very comfortable (maybe too comfortable after an 8-8 season, some have suggested).

They also have the new Meadowlands Stadium just across the parking lot.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Giants love their new digs at the Timex Center. It allows them to do things they never could before during the regular season, like have full practices indoors and split into different fields when the weather is not an issue. But it also allows them to do something they never could before during the offseason. And that is impress a potential free agent with more than a contract offer and the lore of Giants history.
 

We'll see if it pays any dividends right away.