The New York Jets have made former University of Louisville star Kerry Rhodes one of the NFL’s highest-paid safties, according to various New York media reports. You can read a quick rundown in this ESPN.com report.
The particulars (according to anonymous sources):
- 5-year deal
- $33.5 million
- $20 million guaranteed
This is great news for a great guy. Rhodes, from Bessemer, Ala., was drafted in the fourth round in 2005 and has been a starter since Day 1 for the Jets. He has 270 tackles, 10 interceptions and eight sacks in his first three seasons.
You know you’re good when Peyton Manning refers to you by your first name on the field. He came to the line a few times with this instruction — “There’s Kerry! Block Kerry!”
Kind of makes you think back to the days when U of L had great safties. Or, for that matter, the days when they recruited the state of Alabama (not a single Alabama signee in the current recruiting class. But those are subjects for another blog.)
Pat Forde always told the best Kerry Rhodes story from U of L. He was out at the practice field for first day of Rhodes freshman practice. And John L. Smith pointed Rhodes out and told Forde he thought Rhodes was a good one. “He’s a quarterback now,” Smith said. “When his dad goes home this afternoon, he’ll become a safety.”
John L. helped make Rhodes a lot of money that day.
A couple of things you might not know about Rhodes.
He minored in Theatre Arts at U of L and is scheduled to appear in a couple of upcoming films, including “Queen of Media” with Robin Givens.
Also, in 2006, Rhodes founded the Rhodes Foundation, with the mission of “reaffirming hopes of dream endearing scholars living in America’s impoverished neighborhoods.” The foundation’s mission supports the educational and financial advancement of young people in underserved high schools nationwide. He holds a celebrity basketball game and weekend in his hometown every summer.