MANKATO — The Vikings locked up another star defender through the 2022 season.
Cornerback Xavier Rhodes signed a five-year extension worth up to $70 million on Sunday, making him one of the league’s highest-paid cornerbacks, league sources told the Star Tribune.
Rhodes, who will hold a press conference after Sunday’s practice, tacks five years onto his deal as he was already set to make $8.026 million in 2017. He receives $41 million guaranteed, one source said, and can earn up to $78 million in the next six seasons.
It makes Rhodes a top-paid corner with a $14 million average through the first three years, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, just behind Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million) and L.A.’s Trumaine Johnson ($16.7 million franchise tag).
“I’m extremely happy for him,” safety Harrison Smith said. “I’m excited for him, his family and what that means to him. And I know he’ll work even harder. That’s just who he is and why we all love him so much.”
Rhodes, a 2013 first-round pick, enjoyed his breakout season last year with a career-best five interceptions, becoming the first Vikings corner to do that since Brian Williams in 2003.
Due in large part to Rhodes’ play against receivers like Odell Beckham Jr. and DeAndre Hopkins, only two NFL defenses were better against the pass than the Vikings last season. And even though head coach Mike Zimmer has said he doesn’t like a cornerback shadowing a top receiver, he has repeatedly trusted the 27-year-old Rhodes to do so.
Rhodes is the next in line after the Vikings signed defensive end Everson Griffen to a four-year extension earlier this week. The team is also expected to eventually discuss new deals for defensive tackle Linval Joseph, receiver Stefon Diggs and linebacker Eric Kendricks, among others.
The NFL’s current highest-paid cornerback is Norman, who signed a five-year deal last year worth up to $75 million.