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Vikings release veteran CB Xavier Rhodes

Xavier Rhodes, Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are releasing cornerback Xavier Rhodes, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Rhodes spent the first seven years of his NFL career with the Vikings. He is coming off of a 2019 campaign in which he played 15 games and registered 63 tackles, a forced fumble and six passes defended.

The veteran actually made the Pro Bowl this past season. But it was clear that he had lost a step, and Minnesota did not feel he was worth the $34.3 million in base salary remaining on his deal. The contract would not expire until 2023.

Rhodes, who played his collegiate football at Florida State, was originally selected by the Vikings in the first round (25th pick overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.

He appeared in 13 contests during his rookie year, finishing with 48 tackles, a forced fumble and 10 passes defended. He then started every game in both 2014 and 2015 before breaking out in 2016. He racked up 52 tackles, five interceptions, a forced fumble, 11 passes defended and a defensive touchdown en route to his first Pro Bowl selection.

That marked the first of back-to-back trips to the Pro Bowl for Rhodes. He also notched First-Team All-Pro honors in 2017 after totaling 56 tackles, a couple of picks and 10 passes defended.

Since then, the 29-year-old has fallen off significantly.

Rhodes will still surely attract some attention on the free agent market due to the fact that he is still relatively young. He may accept a cheap deal, but there is also no doubt that he is not the same cornerback from a few years ago.