Mike Zimmer: Xavier Rhodes needs to play up to his contract

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When Vikings radio announcer Paul Allen appeared on PFT Live in February, he floated cornerback Xavier Rhodes‘ name while discussing players who could be moved to improve the team’s cap situation.

Those comments caught Rhodes’ attention and head coach Mike Zimmer’s comments about Rhodes from this week’s league meetings in Arizona will likely do the same. Rhodes’ $10.4 million base salary became fully guaranteed on March 15 and Zimmer said that he doesn’t think the cornerback has played well enough to justify the deal he signed with the team in 2017.

“I just don’t think he played as well as he can play,” Zimmer said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He needs to play up to his ability level. We’re paying him a lot of money. He needs to play up to that contract.”

Better health would likely be a step in the right direction for Rhodes after he missed two games and was limited in others during the 2018 season. He said at the end of the season that he learned a lesson about trying to return too soon from injuries, but the key to living up to Zimmer’s expectations may be avoiding them in the first place.

39 responses to “Mike Zimmer: Xavier Rhodes needs to play up to his contract

  1. Ohhh…I don’t know about the injuries. No one goes down like he was shot and milks an “injury” like Rhodes.

    I’ve seen him several times writhing on the ground, needing help and limping off the field….only to return 2 plays later.

    The guy has some drama in him for sure.

  2. This is a dangerous precedent for Zimmer to adopt because it really applies to all 53 players and the most obvious violator to date is their $84 M QB. Add into the fact that Pass Interference is now reviewable and there isn’t a play where Rhodes doesn’t hold, its going to be a long year for Viking fans. Well, not so long, the 16 game season will end in December.

  3. There’s a lot of talent on that team and the ‘team’ fails consistently. Therefore, although what Zimmer stated about Xavier may be true, I would add that Mike needs to first look in the mirror and ask himself is he coaching up to his contract…

    In any regard, Mike should keep those comments between the player and himself.

  4. This is hard to argue with. He went from “Rhodes closed” , to last year’s debacle where opposing quarterbacks were slinging the ball all around the field.I am confident Zimmer will motivate him or else they will move him. For $10mil he needs to be a shut down corner again. I’m glad Zimmer isn’t beating around the bush.

  5. Zim knows exactly what he’s doing/saying. These players have a lot of pride, and when you prick at it, they respond… either with pouting, or with improved play to “prove him wrong”. Zim’s betting on the latter. I find it refreshing that he’s brutally honest, and doesn’t coddle players, on the field or in the media. At the very least, he’s a lot more interesting than other coaches and their “canned” responses to questions.

  6. That’s what Viking fans like about Zimmer. Tells it like it is and says what needs to be said. There’s no question who’s in charge unlike another certain team we know. That’s how a team should work instead of being a circus with the head clown running the show.

  7. I kind of like to see these players called out. We see so many huge contracts that we get desensitized to the numbers, but $10 million is a huge amount of money and some of these guys just don’t seem to appreciate what they have.

  8. There’s no question who’s in charge unlike another certain team we know. That’s how a team should work instead of being a circus with the head clown running the show.
    —–
    Was it our secondary that went rogue on the coach, or our qb/wr fighting on the sidelines during a huge game, or our team churning through OC’s like butter?

  9. Oh my Rhodes will want trade he is disrespected after all this is the trend of the players today. The Steelers have been dragged all over the coals because players don’t like how they are treated and only coaches only want to win, boo hoo hoo

  10. Rhodes will be back at top form. Should be the best season he’ll ever have. Regardless of what some believe… WR’s and DB’s are at their best at about 30. The mental catches up to the physical. Same really goes for linebackers and linemen

  11. savethebs says:
    March 27, 2019 at 10:05 am
    Remember when everyone thought Zimmer was a great coach?
    ===================================================================================
    He’s just a defensive coach with the title of head coach now. Spielman and the Wilfs (not Zimmer) chose Kubiak to be the offensive head coach and let him staff the offense. Zimmer has been spayed and neutered. Of course, if Kubiak does a good job with the offense, Vikings’ fans will give all of the credit to Zimmer.

  12. Maybe Rhodes will ask for a paycut since he played so poorly. Not likely though.

  13. Should have traded him. The rest of the corners are better than him now. Should have let Griffen go too. Could have used the money elsewhere. I understand wanting to take care of your guys but not when it hurts the team.

  14. Slow your roll armchair QB and Packer fans. Nobody said Rhodes played bad, or that he’s not a top corner, or that he should be traded, or that the other corners on the team are better than him. Zim said for the money he is being paid, it’s time for Rhodes to step it up a notch. Zim said same thing about Barr. And Barr just signed a new contract.

  15. Jordy Nelson was no longer producing at a level commensurate with his pay and he’s no longer in the league. Sometimes teams hang on to players too long and sometimes teams do the right thing.

  16. conormacleod says:
    March 27, 2019 at 5:12 pm
    Slow your roll armchair QB and Packer fans. Nobody said Rhodes played bad, or that he’s not a top corner, or that he should be traded, or that the other corners on the team are better than him. Zim said for the money he is being paid, it’s time for Rhodes to step it up a notch. Zim said same thing about Barr. And Barr just signed a new contract.
    ============================================================================================================
    Although PFF isn’t the end-all, be-all, I’d say that being rated 101st out of cornerbacks according to their metrics shows that he played bad.

  17. he can do better. good luck stopping injuries on a very violent (we look the ofher way) league. is fhis the beginning of the blame game for having capt kirk and a crappy line? they will be worse and so will the pack and lions. so stay tuned.

  18. Been saying it for years, Rhodes has never been that good. Fragile and too many PI calls! He’s got the physical attributes but he hasnt proved a whole Helluva lot in terms of being a shut down corner IMHO.. Dude couldn’t hold Winfield’s jockstrap.. Talk about heart and leaving it all out the field. (Woulda been fun to see antoine, Harrison, and sendejo all play together!!!)
    We need Hughes back fast!

  19. Zimmer will call out any player he feels ins’t performer. His players like playing for him to because they know where they stand with him. Look around the league, not every head coach has the balls to do it. I would say more do nothing but coddle their “star” players.

  20. Sometimes teams hang on to players too long and sometimes teams do the right thing.

    Uh. Dom Capers ring a bell??

  21. Rhodes has been figured out. He will likely start doing his own thing like he did a couple years ago and its going to get worse. That WTF look to the sideline is a telltale when Rhodes knows he can’t get it done.

  22. This might be Zimmer’s way of keeping Waynes and moving on from Rhodes. If Rhodes is unhappy and wants out then the Vikes could move him for a 2nd round pick and restructure Waynes. It actually sounds like a good idea. Rhodes might get us a better draft pick which could translate into a better player and restructuring Waynes on an extension gives us more money in the present.

  23. Good coaches don’t have the need to call out their players in the media. They are able to handle issues behind closed doors. It certainly doesn’t take “balls” to whine and throw your players under the bus in public. It’s more of a sign of insecurity than anything. He did the same thing with DeFilippo to shift blame to him rather than for Zimmer to admit that he didn’t know how to staff an offense and chose the wrong guy. One playoff victory in 5 years and going from 13-3 to 8-7-1 after signing your franchise QB are all that you need to know about Zimmer. Such a master motivator. Starting year 6 and on his 4th OC after getting spanked by the front office so they had to bring in Gary Kubiak to help Zimmer be a head coach.

  24. Subtract from an area of strength and add it to an area of weakness. Hopefully hughes is ahead of schedule or at least on pace and comes back even stronger (not everyone is AP) so we could turn rhodes into a 2nd round OL pick.
    #teamblitzmore

  25. He can always win best actress for the drama he puts on every time he gets “injured”

  26. Frank you talke bad about 1 playoff in 5 years. Yet your an alleged bears fan, they have not won a playoff game in 9 years.

  27. But I’m not touting the Bears head coach or the GM as the best, or even great, as most other Bear fans don’t. They had a really good, unexpected year last year and it remains to be seen whether they will sustain that or not.

    Conversely, many Vikings’ fans have been puffing out their chests since 2014 with Zimmer and Spielman, calling the Vikings’ a “world-class operation”, and telling us how Zimmer is the best head coach and Spielman is the best GM. And when Zimmer comes up short, as he did in a big way last year, it’s not his fault. Vikings’ fans talk a bigger game than the results that the Vikings are producing.

  28. Give it up Frank – good coaches don’t call out players. Your allegedly part of a fan base that loves Ditka. Harbaugh or Butler press conferences remind you of anything?

  29. Ditka was entertaining but he wasn’t a great coach. He proved that with his tenure in New Orleans. With that talent on the Bears in the ’80’s, they should have gone to at least one more Super Bowl. Ditka’s act quickly became tiresome with the veterans. By the way, who is Butler?

    Same thing with Harbaugh, who’s now coaching college ball. He lost the locker room in 2014 and it was reported that several key 49ers players were sick of his act. Enjoy Zimmer.

  30. Now comes word that Rhodes is upset that Zimmer called him out.

    Just wait: If Rhodes is still with the Vikings and he has a good year, the lemmings will say that it was because Zimmer called him out and fired him up. It won’t be because Rhodes worked on things on his own to get better. If it’s good, it’s attributed to Zimmer. If it’s bad, it’s someone else’s fault.

  31. Frank – so your allegedly a bears fan yet you don’t remember Ditka going off on Harbaugh in press conferences? I am not talking about Harbaugh when he was a coach he was a long time bears qb i guess a “fan” would usually know that.
    Kevin Butler – you’ve never heard of him either? Only the second leading scorer in bears history. What a “fan” you are.

  32. Of course I do- Had you said Ditka going off on Harbaugh and Butler in press conferences, it would have made sense. But when you said Harbaugh and Butler press conferences, I would assume that you were talking about Harbaugh berating players in press conferences as well as someone named Butler doing the same. Understanding grammar and the importance of the subject in a sentence are helpful in expressing yourself clearly.

    And what good did it do when Ditka went after those guys? Nothing. After the Harbaugh INT to Todd Scott against the Vikings where Ditka exploded, the Bears were still up 20-7 and lost 21-20, and the 2-2 Bears would go 3-9 for the rest of the year. Butler was a well-established vet and Ditka’s barbs did nothing to “light a fire” underneath him either.

  33. Nice try Frank – for a bears fan not to know the correlation of players being called out in the media and then Ditka being mentioned by harbaugh and butler is somewhat insane. Nice job googling the layers and trying to figure recover. Context clues are taught I think in like second grade.

  34. No, I’ve never heard of Kevin Butler. Never heard of Mike Ditka, either. I do think it’s funny that someone thinks that they can determine someone’s rooting interest (or anything for that matter) just because of a miscommunication/misconstrued comment on the internet. That’s smart.

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