Option I: DB Xavier Rhodes
The LA Rams have sought a solid defensive back to bolster their secondary, and they have a chance at adding one now. While the availability of defensive back Xavier Rhodes may not excite every NFL fan base or every NFL team, it should fill the fans of the LA Rams with some excitement. Here’s why:
The LA Rams are facing a minimum of four weeks without defensive back Troy Hill, a period of time that could increase as more is learned about his surgery to correct a significant groin pull. Even if and when Hill is medically clear, will he be able to pick up right where he’s left off? The Rams’ secondary needs help.
Veteran defensive back Xavier Rhodes can be that help. The three-time Pro Bowler and 2017 All-Pro defensive back was a force to be reckoned with during his time with the Minnesota Vikings. He hoped to parlay that stellar reputation into a lucrative multi-year contract in free agency. Instead? The most he could muster was a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts for $4.7 million in 2020. In 2021, he tried again, only to re-sign with the Colts on another one-year deal.
The LA Rams have an excellent track record of signing and refurbishing the reputations and careers of NFL defenders. Right now, that is exactly what Xavier Rhodes needs. He has been an NFL starting cornerback over his nine-season career and has been one of the most durable defensive backs over that period of time.
Rhodes has primarily played in a lot of man coverage defensive schemes, and over time he has done quite well. But he’d lost the confidence of the Vikings organization to continue in that role, so he was released, where he has asked to provide more zone coverage in the Indianapolis Colts secondary.
The Rams play more zone coverage, so Rhodes would be a huge addition to the roster. And it makes sense for the Rams to give him a call, as the Rams’ injuries are beginning to impact the secondary now as well. What do I mean?
The LA Rams have already placed DB Troy Hill on IR. Still on the PUP/IR list is rookie DB Russ Yeast. Rookie DB Cobie Durant is fighting through a Grade 1 hamstring strain. This is only the second week of the season.
Xavier Rhodes would be a solid addition to the Rams’ secondary. Not only is he the caliber of play that is deserving of playing opposite Jalen Ramsey, but he showed up huge in 2020 for the Indianapolis Colts.
Now, imagine how well he could play in the LA Rams’ secondary, on this LA Rams defense. While he may not generate double-digit interceptions over the course of a season, he can cause enough heartache with opposing quarterbacks to make the defense shine.
Imagine this Rams defense with one more All-Pro? That’s enough to put the Rams firmly back on track to the NFL playoffs. Best of all? The LA Rams could sign him today, and should.