When he wasn't offering up free medical advice, I had a chance to talk with Antrel Rolle about a familiar face he'll be seeing on Saturday night: Former Cardinals teammate Anquan Boldin, now of the Ravens.
Rolle said he would definitely try to see Boldin on Friday night when the Giants arrive in Baltimore. More to the point, he said that he was happy Boldin was able to get out of Arizona.
"I definitely feel like he was unappreciated,” Rolle said. “That’s what I feel. I definitely felt like he wasn’t getting what he deserved as a Cardinal.”
Note that Rolle said unappreciated. Not under-appreciated, as in less than he should have been. Unappreciated, as in he got none. Rodney Dangerfield "I don't get no" levels.
And Rolle said he’s not just talking about financial compensation. He said the Cardinals didn’t recognize the “upright, fiery guy” who was a leader. He called Boldin “a warrior” and said there were numerous times he played through pain that others might not have been able or willing to.
“I’m not just saying that because he’s my friend, I’m saying it because that’s the truth,” Rolle said. “He’s one of the most uplifting, spiritual guys I’ve ever been around. I definitely think he needed a change of scenery. I think he had a bitter taste in his mouth and it was really time for a change.”
Rolle had a chance to return to the Cardinals as a free agent after being released by them, but he too decided it was time for a change. He came to New York.
Now, after years of practicing against each other, they’ll clash in a preseason game, one in which they might even end up going after the same passes or colliding on blocks. Both have new contracts, both have new teams, and both seem happier for it.
“He was trying to get out of there,” Rolle said. “I think he pretty much wanted what was due to him. I’m not going to say what’s right or what’s wrong with someone else’s contract issues, but I definitely felt like he was a player who deserved more than he was getting, hands down.”