Well, it looks like they’ve done it again. The Cincinnati Bengals have waited until the free agency market has dried up and then run around kicking the tires on any once hot name that’s left at the bottom of the pool.
This time around, the Bengals decided to bring in veteran safety Kerry Rhodes for a work out. A once excellent Safety, Rhodes was drafted in 2005 by the New York Jets and quickly made a name for himself as the top option at safety, beating out Oliver Celestin for the position. After an extremely successful rookie campaign, the Jets re-signed Rhodes to a five-year $33.5 million deal in 2008, before releasing him in 2010.
Rhodes then went on to play with the Arizona Cardinals and in his first season gained a total of 90 tackles, 12 passes deflected, four interceptions and four fumble recoveries and was awarded The Lloyd Herberg MVP award for the 2010-11 season by the Arizona chapter of the Pro Football Writers Association. Since that season, however, Rhodes has not been able to play at the same level, missing half the season in 2011 to injury and returning in 2012 clearly having lost a step in his game. Although he still put up decent numbers in interceptions at four and passes deflected at 11, his tackles were down to 67 and he saw decreased playtime.
Rhodes still has a few good years left in him, and is certainly playing at a higher level than the majority of safeties that are currently clogging up the Bengals depth Chart. Rhodes would also make a good compliment to current top safety Reggie Nelson, something that the Bengals have been looking for this offseason.
It is unclear at this moment in time, whether or not the Bengals are genuinely looking to pick him and use a mid round pick to take a safety in the upcoming NFL Draft, or if they are just looking to thinly veil their true intentions with regards to their first round pick. It would be a good idea to pick up Rhodes, clear out the mess that they have in the safety position and still draft a safety in an early round.
Simon Greene – Cincinnati Bengals Writer. Follow Simon on Twitter @simongreene88