Rolle fined, not suspended

OWINGS MILLS -- The Baltimore Ravens' secondary received an unexpected boost Tuesday for their impending duel with Peyton Manning as cornerback Samari Rolle will be fined one game check and won't be suspended by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.

Rolle initially was expected to receive a one-game suspension after accepting a plea bargain from Tennessee prosecutors in April to settle a domestic violence charge involving his wife. Rolle was arrested and charged with domestic assault in February, and later agreed to 11 months and 29 days of probation, anger management sessions and counseling with his wife, Danisha Rolle.

Rolle's fine amounts to $62,500, but he's mainly relieved that he'll be available for Sunday night's nationally televised season opener against the high-octane Indianapolis Colts at M&T Bank Stadium.

"Definitely just to put this whole ordeal behind myself, my family and the organization and just move on, I'm thankful I'm able to play," Rolle said. "The Ravens have supported me and my wife and my family from Day One, and I'm thankful to put it behind us and move forward."
Signed by the Ravens this spring to a six-year, $30.5 million contract that included $11 million in guaranteed money, the former Pro Bowl cornerback with the Tennessee Titans is slated to earn a $1 million base salary this season.

If Rolle hadn't been able to play against Manning, who threw an NFL record 49 touchdown passes last season, the Ravens would have had some even more difficult matchups.

Baltimore would have had to platoon veterans Deion Sanders and Dale Carter opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAlister. Colts wide receivers Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and former Ravens starter Brandon Stokley produced at least 1,000 yards apiece last season.

Baltimore is likely to employ its dime package (six defensive backs) throughout the game, as it did last year when it held the Colts to a season-low 20 points and 316 yards of total offense. Now, the Ravens can match McAlister against Harrison and Rolle against Wayne while using Sanders and Carter against Stokley.

Rolle indicated that he has recovered from a mild knee sprain that kept him out of the final two preseason contests.

"That's great news that Samari is going to get to play," free safety Will Demps said. "We didn't know what his situation was and we dealt with it as teammates. When he got the good news, we were like, ‘Wow, a whole game check.'

"It will be great to have him out there with us. We need everyone against Peyton Manning."

In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.

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