Xavier Rhodes never expected to be let go by the Vikings

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Xavier Rhodes
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Xavier Rhodes /

After Xavier Rhodes was selected as a First-Team All-Pro in 2017, it’s hard to imagine many could have predicted the next two seasons going incredibly poorly for the top Minnesota Vikings corner.

In 2018, Rhodes saw his performance begin to head in the wrong direction. However, many attributed his play on the field to the Vikings cornerback dealing with multiple injuries throughout the year. So there was some hope that he would improve and get back to normal in 2019.

That didn’t end up being the case for Rhodes last season though. He did remain on the field for 15 of Minnesota’s games last year, but the team might’ve actually been better without him.

For the Vikings last season, Rhodes ended up allowing his coverage to catch 81.5 percent of their targets and haul in four touchdowns while giving up a 123.8 rating to opposing quarterbacks who threw passes in his direction.

Not being with the Minnesota Vikings is not something Rhodes ever expected.

Despite his large 2020 cap hit and his poor play during each of the last two years, Rhodes never thought he’d be shown the door in Minnesota.

"“You don’t go in thinking you’re going to be cut. If you’re at a team, and you’ve achieved so much at one team, you think it’s going to be forever. It’s a reality check. I didn’t ever think I would get to this point.”"

In this conversation with the Indianapolis Star’s Joel A. Erickson, the former Vikings corner had no problem admitting that 2019, “wasn’t (his) best year.” For someone who used to be regarded as one of the top corners in the NFL, that likely wasn’t the easiest thing for Rhodes to admit.

Now a member of the Indianapolis Colts, 2020 will definitely be a season for the veteran cornerback to prove he still belongs in the NFL. Rhodes hasn’t even turned 30-years-old yet, but he’s running out of time to keep a job out on the football field.

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If he fails to become a solid contributor for the Colts next season, then he may no longer be given any more opportunities to remain in the league. This seems like a crazy thought to have considering it wasn’t that long ago when Rhodes was shutting down the NFL’s top receivers.