Vikings' Xavier Rhodes Apologizes to Mike Zimmer for Outburst vs. Seahawks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2019

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 20: Xavier Rhodes #29 of the Minnesota Vikings warms up prior to the start of the game aganist the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 20, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes spoke to head coach Mike Zimmer regarding his sideline outburst in the Vikings' 37-30 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday. 

Rhodes told reporters Wednesday he reached out to Zimmer to clear the air and apologize, per ESPN's Courtney Cronin:

"That's not the way I should carry myself, especially as a leader on this team. I apologize definitely to Coach Zim, and the things he's taught me — I should never react that way toward him or toward my team, period. I know my role, I need to play it better. I need to play better out on that field, eliminate the penalties and just do well. There's a lot more football going on right now. We still have a great chance of making it to the playoffs and still have a chance to win our division. Right now I'm looking forward to doing that, helping my team day-to-day, minimize the penalties I have that's going on each and every week and bettering myself."

With Minnesota trailing 20-17 in the third quarter, Rhodes was beaten badly by David Moore for a 60-yard touchdown pass.

As Rhodes returned to the sideline, he was seen arguing with Zimmer and throwing his helmet to the turf.

Zimmer addressed the incident Wednesday and downplayed any lingering friction between him and Rhodes.

"We've always had our moments," Zimmer said, per The Athletic's Chad Graff. "But at the end of the day, he knows I'm trying to do what's best for him, and he's trying to do what's best for me. I have a ton of respect for him."

More than just Moore's touchdown, the brief flare-up might have reflected what has been a generally frustrating 2019 for Rhodes. According to Pro Football Focus (h/t NFL writer Warren Sharp), quarterbacks had a 126 passer rating and averaged 9.5 yards per attempt entering Week 13 when targeting the 29-year-old.

He has also drawn eight penalties for a league-high 139 yards, per the Football Database.

As the Oct. 29 trade deadline loomed, Cronin posited Rhodes could be moved by Minnesota since he wasn't performing like the cornerback who reached back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2016 and 2017.

Cronin added his long-term future with the team could be in doubt since he carries a $12.9 million salary cap hit in 2020. By designating Rhodes as a post-June 1 cut, the Vikings could save $10.5 million next year with $2.4 million counting against the cap in each of the next two years.

It would appear Rhodes' outburst won't become a larger issue for the Vikings, but the incident might be something the front office considers when should it evaluate his status with the team in the offseason.

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