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Wednesday, March 13, 2013
No safety debate after Rhodes' release

By Mike Sando

We've debated in recent years which NFC West team had the best combination at safety.

There is not much to debate two days into free agency.

The Arizona Cardinals' move to release free safety Kerry Rhodes on Wednesday came the same day the San Francisco 49ers lost free safety Dashon Goldson to Tampa Bay. Rhodes' release came only days after Arizona released five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson. It came days after the St. Louis Rams released safety Quintin Mikell.

Rhodes was scheduled to earn $6 million in salary and bonus money for 2013, the final year of his contract. The money was not guaranteed. That means Rhodes will not receive it, and the Cardinals will not have to count it against their salary cap.

Rhodes has played to generally positive reviews, but with a new head coach and general manager in place, the Cardinals are making significant changes. Rhodes' performance obviously didn't justify his salary in the team's estimation.

Arizona did re-sign safety Rashad Johnson this week. The position could use some reinforcing without Rhodes or Wilson.

Back to the best-in-the-West debate over safeties. Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor of the Seattle Seahawks were arguably the best anyway. They're the best almost by default until their NFC West rivals address the position.

Rhodes' release was not widely expected. We'll have to see if there are bigger-picture implications regarding other positions.