PFF names Xavier Rhodes as Colts’ most improved player

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Kevin Hickey
·2 min read
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The Indianapolis Colts knew they were taking a chance on veteran cornerback Xavier Rhodes when they signed him to a one-year deal during free agency in the 2020 offseason, but they were rewarded with a strong bounce-back campaign.

Pro Football Focus listed the most improved player for every team during the 2020 season, and it is no surprise that Rhodes was the name for the Colts.

The Colts’ decision to bring in Rhodes on a one-year, $3 million deal was just about as low risk as decisions come. Rhodes was coming off two straight down seasons in Minnesota, allowing an absurd 84.3% of the passes into his coverage to be completed in the previous year. However, in his first season in Indianapolis, Rhodes allowed just 50.7% of the passes thrown his way to be caught — improving his PFF grade from 46.4 to 76.3 in the process.

I wrote this past offseason that the Colts defense was the right environment for Rhodes to revive his career, and that’s exactly what the veteran cornerback did. Indianapolis would probably love to bring him back for another year as long as the price stays reasonable.

Rhodes was a bright spot in the cornerback room. With the up-and-down play of Rock Ya-Sin, it helped to have a stable option on the boundary to pair with the versatile Kenny Moore in the slot.

But now Rhodes is a free agent and the Colts have decisions to make. They can try to re-sign him, which will likely be expensive on the market. Or they can let him walk and try to find his replacement in free agency or the draft at a cheaper cost.

Regardless, Rhodes had a strong season thanks to the scheme of the Colts and being with Jonathan Gannon again. Now, he will be a free agent with several teams looking for cornerback help.

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