Analyzing Xavier Rhodes’ market as a free agent this offseason

Xavier Rhodes interception
Xavier Rhodes free agency is set to be competitive. Photo from The Athletic.
  • Xavier Rhodes free agency is going to be a point of interest across the league
  • Rhodes becomes a free agent after seven years with the Vikings and one with the Colts
  • Which teams could be good landing spots for Rhodes this offseason?

The month of March usually signifies the start of a few things in sports, but the start of the NFL offseason and specifically free agency is something to look to forward to for football fans. Teams will begin building the foundation of their 2021 roster, and hope will spring eternal for better luck in the upcoming season. As offenses in the NFL continue to throw the ball at a clip they never have before, the importance of good cornerback play arguably has never been more important. Free agent Xavier Rhodes is one target who many NFL franchises will consider as a way to improve their defense.

Rhodes spent the first 7 seasons of his career with the Minnesota Vikings, and was one of the best cover corners in the league during that time. He made it to three Pro Bowls and made an All-Pro team while with the Vikings.

After not playing as well during his final two seasons with Minnesota, Rhodes took his talents to Indianapolis last season. He had an impressive bounce back campaign, playing in all 16 games and recording 12 passes defended. The latter figure was the second highest total of his career, showing he still has plenty left in the tank.

Which teams will look show interest in Xavier Rhodes free agency? According to Spotrac, he is estimated to receive a $7.3 million average annual value contract, so we will keep that in mind for this prediction.

Panthers

The Panthers were a competitive team in the 2020 season, but were just outmatched by more well rounded veteran teams. They have the foundation to improve and compete for a playoff spot in 2021, but will need to address their secondary in free agency.

Unfortunately for Carolina, they play in a division with some incredibly talented wide receivers.

On any given week, they could be facing Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Calvin Ridley or Julio Jones. They won’t be able to survive in those games without better cornerback play, so Rhodes makes sense as a fit here.

The Panthers only recorded 7 interceptions last season, which was tied for second fewest in the league.


Cardinals

If anything has become clear in the past few days, it’s that the Cardinals are hoping to put together a team that can contend in the NFC playoffs in the immediate future.

Arizona brought in veteran sack master J.J. Watt earlier in the week, and could look to make another impact signing of a former AFC South player.

Arizona has a lot of interesting decisions to make regarding their own players (Patrick Peterson, Hassan Redick, Kenyan Drake).

But if they truly are pushing their chips to the middle of the table, Rhodes would be great to have on the team. He might have to take a little less than his projected value to sign in the desert, but it might give him his best chance to win a ring.

Texans

For seemingly all the wrong reasons, the Texans are one of the most polarizing teams in the NFL this offseason. It looks like they are headed for a tumultuous 2021 campaign, especially if they acquiesce to quarterback Deshaun Watson’s trade demands.

They are going to be a tough sell as a destination in free agency, but they do have a projected $20 million in cap space, and will likely feel compelled to spend it on someone to be respectable.

Rhodes could possibly get more than his estimated worth with the Texans just because they likely won’t be in the mix for veterans who want to play on a winning ballclub.

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About Andrew Pistone 50 Articles
Andrew is a contributor to Franchise Sports, who believes that Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Fitzpatrick's no look pass while being facemasked against the Las Vegas Raiders was better than any Magic Johnson assist on the fast break.

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