Xavier Rhodes

Minnesota Vikings cut ties with Xavier Rhodes

  • Mike Zimmer
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Xavier Rhodes
By Donnie Zelaya March 13, 2020 0 Comment
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In what is an obvious salary cap saving move, the Minnesota Vikings are releasing former All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes.

Just before the beginning of the league year, which starts on Wednesday, one of the best cornerbacks of the last five years in the NFL is heading to free agency. Xavier Rhodes was set to count $12.9 million against the Vikings salary cap this coming season. Coming off the worst statistical year of his career, Rhodes will look to find a new home this offseason. In 2019, he failed to register an interception and allowed quarterbacks to complete 81.5% of passes thrown his direction. He also allowed 12 yards per completion with a passer rating of 123.8. Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman made the tough call to move on.

Xavier Rhodes and his past

Rhodes was at one time the lockdown corner in Minnesota’s vaunted defense from 2014-2017. 2016 was his peak year statistically in which he registered five interceptions, one forced fumble, and one defensive touchdown. That season he was voted to the Pro Bowl. However, it was the 2017 season in which he was voted 1st team All-Pro by the Associated Press and earned a return trip to the Pro Bowl.

Last season also saw a dip in the percentage of defensive snaps played with a career-low of 73% in 15 games. This is two seasons removed from his All-Pro season in 2017, where he played in 91% of the defensive snaps. The Vikings were looking for more availability and statistical output for $12.9 million. Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson reported these numbers for Rhodes that last four seasons:

Rhodes will probably latch on with another team, but he’ll likely be in the second or even third wave of the free agency signing for much less than what he was supposed to make this season.

What’s next for the Vikings?

The move, first reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, creates $8.1 million in cap space, and the Vikings will incur a dead cap hit of $4.8 million this season and $2.4 million next season. The already cash strapped Vikings had just under $750,000 in cap space before today’s release of Rhodes. The Vikings have impending free agents Everson Griffen, Trae Waynes, Anthony Harris, and Mackensie Alexander. So, more moves will need to be made if Minnesota wants to retain any of these defensive staples.

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