Former All-Pro Vikings cornerback agrees to stay with Colts for 2021

(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Xavier Rhodes
(Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports) Xavier Rhodes /

When the Minnesota Vikings let Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, and Mackensie Alexander leave in free agency following the 2019 NFL season, it was made obvious there would be a changing of the guard for the team’s cornerback grouping.

Each of those individuals got signed to new teams quickly. Rhodes landed with the Indianapolis Colts and shined in their coverage scheme while Minnesota struggled with their young secondary taking a lot of lumps and dealing with injuries. His success made some fans wish the team was able to bring the three-time Pro Bowl corner back to the purple and gold.

Rhodes was a free agent following the expiration of his one-year deal with Indianapolis and has agreed to return to the Colts on another one-year deal. The transaction was announced on the Twitter account of NFL Insider Ian Rapoport.

While it would have been nice to have Xavier Rhodes return to the Vikings for the 2021 NFL season, the salary cap situation combined with the recent signing of Patrick Peterson as well as the evolution of Cameron Dantzler and Jeff Gladney would have made his signing more of a luxury than a necessity.

The former Vikings corner betting on himself with another one-year deal

Many players are signing one-year deals with teams this season due to the smaller salary cap. If the cap bounces back in 2022 with the big television deals and attendance in stadiums, players will be better able to maximize their contracts instead of being tied to a smaller long-term deal.

Xavier Rhodes betting on himself to play well in 2021 and earn a big contract after this year is a smart one. The former shutdown corner declared that there were “Rhodes closed” in Indy by defending 12 passes with the Colts and intercepting two passes while returning one of those for a touchdown. If he can continue to play at a high level, he is bound to draw a lot of attention in free agency, even with him being on the wrong side of 30 years old.

It would have been fun to see the Minnesota Vikings reunite with Xavier Rhodes for the 2021 NFL season. However, the circumstances and team needs didn’t really allow it to happen. Still, it’s great to see the former purple and gold defender doing well for another team and continuing to prove his worth in the league.