The talented veteran could team with Patrick Peterson to give the Arizona Cardinals one of the NFL’s best cornerback tandems
The 2019 campaign was far from favorable for the Arizona Cardinals cornerbacks. Patrick Peterson’s suspension, combined with Robert Alford‘s leg injury, had an adverse effect on the club’s defensive unit. Both players sit atop the Cards depth chart at the moment, but there’s a recently-released cover guy who would be a fantastic addition to the squad’s secondary.
Xavier Rhodes, who has spent the last seven seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, was sent packing by the organization this past Friday. The 29-year old was scheduled to make $9.9 million this coming fall, a figure that was apparently a bit too rich for Minnesota. By getting out of the contract, the cap-strapped Vikings have gained $7.5 million in salary cap space.
Rhodes registered 63 tackles and six passes defensed in 15 starts last year. The veteran’s performance in 2019 earned him a Pro Bowl invitation, the third of his NFL career. The 6’1, 218 pound Rhodes is big and physical, and is exactly the type of corner that Arizona has been a longtime proponent of.
The former Florida State University product has appeared in 104 contests, and has 97 starts on his professional resume. Rhodes has racked up 372 tackles, 10 interceptions and an impressive 73 pass breakups during his days with Minnesota.
The Cardinals have seven cornerbacks on the roster at the present time. Along with Peterson and Alford, the team also has Byron Murphy, Chris Jones, Jalen Davis, Sojourn Shelton and Andre Chachere under contract.
It’s not yet known what kind of cash the Cards would have to offer to get Rhodes to sign on the dotted line. Moving on from Alford, who has yet to play a down for the franchise, would leave just $3 million in dead salary cap money. Having a starting cornerback tandem that features both Peterson and Rhodes is an intriguing scenario that general manager Steve Keim would be wise to consider.