Surprisingly, he made the Pro Bowl last year. Not surprisingly, he’ll now be available to make the Pro Bowl with a new team.
Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes has been released, according to Mike Tannenbaum of ESPN.com.
Rhodes was due to make $9.9 million in salary in 2020. Cutting him consumes $4.8 million in cap space, but it creates a net cap gain of $7.5 million for the cap-strapped Vikings.
One of three first-round picks by the Vikings in 2013 (the others were Sharrif Floyd and Cordarrelle Patterson), Rhodes became a cornerstone of the defense under coach Mike Zimmer, who arrived in 2014. Rhodes parlayed his performance into a long-term deal in 2017, which will be torn up with three years remaining.
Rhodes, who turns 30 in June, seemed to repeatedly find his way into Zimmer’s doghouse last year after becoming a liability at times in coverage. Given his salary, he had been an obvious target for release.