Should Colts sign Xavier Rhodes to extension amid bounce-back season?
Should the Colts sign cornerback Xavier Rhodes to a contract extension in light of his hot start to the 2020 season?
The Indianapolis Colts turned a lot of heads this offseason when they signed cornerback Xavier Rhodes in free agency on the heels of his dismal final campaign in Minnesota.
Though his production endured a tailspin in 2019, however, the minimal contract (one-year for $3 million) he was given by GM Chris Ballard made him a low-risk signing that could potentially prove to be a brilliant move if he returned to a semblance of the dominant player he was for so many years with the Vikings.
Rhodes was adamant in training camp about how Indianapolis’ zone-oriented defensive scheme better suited his skill set. After a forgettable debut in Week 1, the former first-round pick has flourished in that system over the last several games and his deal has proven to be a bargain for the Colts.
How good has he been? Well, let’s just say that it wouldn’t be shocking if Indy handed him a fresh contract extension before the end of the season. We know that’s an extreme rarity in today’s NFL, but Rhodes is playing like somebody who the Colts should lock up before his value (presumably) skyrockets over the remaining 10 games.
According to Pro Football Focus, Rhodes is currently allowing a 41.4% completion rate (12 receptions on 29 targets) when thrown at this season, which is currently the best among qualified cornerbacks. That dominance in coverage is literally night and day compared to his woes last season, when he conceded a league-worst 83.5% completion rate.
In six games, Rhodes has compiled 12 tackles, eight passes defended and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown back in Week 3. He’s earned an 80.7 grade from PFF and is allowing a 46.3 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks, which rank as the third-best tally in the league.
The best part about Rhodes’ bounce-back campaign is that he’s continuously avoiding busted coverages, which plagued him over his final two seasons with Minnesota and in Week 1 against the Jaguars, when he conceded a wide open touchdown.
As long as this six-game sample size is a sign of things to come for the rest of the season, we really see no reason why Indianapolis shouldn’t lock Rhodes up with an extension. If Ballard wants to get the best deal possible ahead of what projects to be a busy offseason, he should do so before the three-time Pro Bowler is free to test the open market, where he’ll undoubtedly have a number of suitors, at the end of the 2020 campaign.