Free agent safety Kerry Rhodes, who most recently played with the Cardinals in 2012, does not believe speculation about his sexuality was the reason he did not get an NFL opportunity last season. “I don’t think I was blacklisted,” Rhodes told ESPNNewYork.com’s Jane McManus. “Especially with the NFL I don’t think they would do that…to me it was a product of me wanting to do other things and not finding the right opportunity.”
Instead, Rhodes sees money as the main issue blocking his return to the league. He’s simply unwilling to sign and play for less than his self worth. “I still love football and it’s still a part of me,” said Rhodes. “That’s not closed. But I’m not going to go into a situation where it’s not beneficial to myself. Because with the things I’m doing now I feel pretty comfortable and confident.”
Rhodes comfort in “things” outside of football could also explain why suitors aren’t knocking on his door. In a league where teams demand players be passionate about and obsessed with the game, Rhodes is not. Not exclusively, anyway. After reportedly turning down a one-year, $3MM offer from the Cardinals, Rhodes, who was called “Hollywood” during his time with the Jets, turned to outside interests, including a production company and acting.
Rhodes says he’s staying in shape and hopes to play again, but seems content if his career is over. As for speculation that he’s gay, he did not equivocate. “I emphatically said no once and that’s all I need to say and people who know me know that’s definitely not the case,” Rhodes said. “To me I’m definitely not [gay] and I can’t control what people think, so I move on.”