Byron Jewell | March 27th, 2020
The Indianapolis Colts and general manager Chris Ballard has made it clear they want to improve and add to their defense. That plan remains true as the Colts have signed their third defensive player of the offseason.
Adam Schefter of ESPN announced the Colts will sign former Minnesota Vikings’ All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes to one-year $5 million dollar “prove it” deal.
For the first time in his professional career, the 29-year-old and former Florida State Seminole will be playing on a new team. He found a new home in less than two weeks after being cut by the Vikings. Rhodes had a successful tenure with the Vikings after they selected him with the 25th pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has since made three Pro Bowls and has one All-Pro selection in his career.
Rhodes is coming off a down year last season which ultimately lead to his release but I still feel this is can be a good signing for Indianapolis. With the Colts releasing veteran cornerback Pierre Desir recently, they had a major hole to fill at the position and think Rhodes is the solution.
A change of defensive scheme and player role could be nice and refreshing for him. The Vikings asked Rhodes to play a lot of man coverage and that’s not his strength at this point in his career. He’s appeared to have lost a step running with quick receivers so he should benefit nicely from the Colts heavy defensive zone scheme. Another positive for Rhodes signing with Indy is getting coached by Colts’ defensive backs coach Jonathon Gannon. Gannon was in Minnesota from 2014 to 2017 and helped coach Rhodes through his prime years. During that stretch of time he tallied up stats of 214 total tackles, nine interceptions, and 50 passes defended.
Overall this was a good pick-up for the Colts and their secondary. He can still be good in zone coverage and is a very physical veteran. He’s joining a team that should be in the thick of things for the playoff race in the AFC next year. It’s a low-risk high-reward move and the Colts think they have their starting cornerback on the outside for the upcoming season.
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