The Minnesota Vikings made the playoffs during the 2019 season and even won a game in the wild card round against the New Orleans Saints. During the divisional round they looked lost on both sides of the ball and it led to a 27-10 defeat.
The team has a lot of decisions to make this offseason. With players getting older, it feels like their Super Bowl window could be closing, which makes this offseason even more important.
Currently, the Vikings are projected to be almost $12 million over the cap space, which means the team needs to make some moves just to get back into the positive. If the team wants to be a player during free agency it’s going to take a lot of creative maneuvering to get the job done.
So who could be one player that is a surprising cut? Let’s break it down.
Xavier Rhodes used to be one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL but his falloff his been quick and drastic. He said before the season ended that he would like to stay in Minnesota. Mike Zimmer has also been a big Rhodes fan, and even when he has struggled, Zimmer has seemed to play it off.
Even though Zimmer will probably want him back, with the lack of cap space, the team could be better off spending that money somewhere else.
Rhodes was named a replacement for the Pro Bowl, but that was because of his name, he didn’t do anything on the field to earn that honor.
According to Pro Football Focus, 87 different cornerbacks saw 50 targets, and no one allowed a higher completion percentage than Rhodes. 84.3 percent of passes thrown his way were completed. Near the end of the season, the Vikings started to do a rotation at cornerback, and there was no drop off from Rhodes to Holton Hill or rookie Kris Boyd.
Both of those players on rookie contracts, and if they can outperform Rhodes, it’s probably time to think about saving some money. Rhodes still has three years left on his contract, but if the team were to cut him they would only have $4.8 million in dead cap space. Next season his cap hit is $12.9 million so by cutting him they would save $8.1 million.
If the team does decide to keep him, they shouldn’t count on him going forward to be a top cornerback in the league. He is an average to below-average cornerback at best.