The Indianapolis Colts made arguably their most important free agent re-signing this offseason when they brought back top outside cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
Playing at a high level on a cheap deal in 2020, the Colts somehow got Rhodes for less than what many thought he'd sign for at $4.7 million over one year.
Rhodes spoke to reporters this week for the first time since signing his new deal.
Here are the quick hits.
Rhodes is pleased to be back with the team where he revitalized his career last year in the Colts: After helping further the Colts' defensive foundation in 2020, Rhodes is happy to continue being a part of a squad that he feels is going places in 2021.
I mean yeah I’m happy with the end result. I’m a Colt. I played well with the Colts. I got along with the players and the coaches at the same time so it was a great bond with us.
How I was able to see the potential of the team and how I was able to change the camaraderie, change everything from previous – see how like I said, how much potential this team has, to come back to it and try and strive to go to the Super Bowl again. I know we have the potential to do so. I was more than glad and happy to come back.
Rhodes appreciates the Colts' defensive scheme because they let him be him: The Colts' 4-3 base zone defense may be considered simple, but that's on purpose. In their scheme, they rely on players to meet basic tasks and rely on their instincts and athleticism to make plays.
Rhodes also spoke about what makes him confident in the defense.
They just allow me to play my ball. Like I’ve said and like I’ve known before, I’ve been in the league eight years, I’ve played almost everything. It was just that they allowed me to be confident within myself, play myself, play football, be free and be myself – allowing me to just be confident and be strong...
How aggressive we play, how fast we run to the ball – relentless, turnovers. I mean everything you want in a defense is there with the Colts, and you can see it out there on the field. You can see everything. So with that – you want to be a part of something like that that’s eventually going to make history. So, I’m happy to be back honestly.
Leadership is something Rhodes is passing down that was shown to him: When Rhodes was a young player, he was shown the ropes by veterans, and he is now passing that down to other young Colts players.
The Colts lost plenty of defensive leadership when linebacker Anthony Walker left in free agency, so if Rhodes is providing leadership then it's of premium importance.
Yeah, being around guys like Terence Newman and guys that actually helped me be the player that I am now, I was able to bring that knowledge to the guys at the Colts. So it was fun helping these guys become – reach their full potential or trying to reach their full potential and come back another year and get them to be one of the best in the league. It feels good to be that leader.
Rhodes doesn't plan on retiring anytime soon: Although Rhodes is nearly 31 years old, he doesn't have a predetermined time when he wants to retire. He was asked about how much longer he thinks he can play considering his solid season in 2020. Rhodes had a simple answer.
Not until the wheels fall off.
Did the Colts make the right move in re-signing Rhodes? Drop your thoughts below in the comment section!