Free agent safety Kerry Rhodes looking at four teams


The former Cardinals safety is currently looking at a handful of NFL teams. Rhodes visited with the Bengals several months ago, but nothing came of it.

While promoting his foundation's "Now Let's Get Fit" program in Alabama, "designed to inform communities of the health risks and higher costs of living associated with obesity, free agent safety Kerry Rhodes told reporters this week he has solid leads with four teams.

"It's in the works," he said. "I can't talk about it in depth but there's a good four teams that I'm looking at. There are ongoing discussions. I'm trying to see which one will be the best fit for me. You will see me, though."

The Bessemer native declined to name his suitors.

"I don't want to sway the negotiations at all," he said, adding that an announcement could come in a week or so. "That would be the ideal. Most situations aren't ideal any way. You have to adapt to it and move on."

Cincinnati hosted Rhodes on April 10, but as far as we can tell, negotiations never took place and Rhodes thus departed without a deal. During his career with the Jets and Cardinals, Rhodes has generated 23 interceptions, eight forced fumbles and 11 fumble recoveries.

There was a belief that the Cleveland Browns may be interested in Rhodes due to his connection with defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who coached Rhodes in Arizona. However, the Browns are favoring younger safeties Tashaun Gipson and Johnson Bademosi and nothing was reportedly pursued.

According to Pro Football Focus grading system, Rhodes finished with a strong 2012 campaign scoring the fourth-best grade among all safeties last season.

Following Jamaal Anderson's release on Thursday, Cincinnati's roster was trimmed down to 88 players (including the unsigned Tyler Eifert), two shy of the 90-player maximum. There are six safeties currently on the roster, led by Reggie Nelson and a collection of players battling each other for the vacant starting strong safety job and special teams, all of which will be staged later this month.

We're not offering commentary that the Bengals will or should sign Rhodes. But safety is a fragile position right now, depending significantly on younger players that have much to prove. If they're unable to produce, figure that Rhodes and former Bengals safety Chris Crocker could be on speed-dial (Crocker before Rhodes). And keep in mind that the Bengals have a history of signing veteran free agents at safety. From Crocker, to Dexter Jackson, and Roy Williams.

Beyond that, there's probably nothing else to see at this point.

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