From an individual standpoint, free safety Kerry Rhodes has had an outstanding season for the Arizona Cardinals. At the age of 30, the seven-year veteran has proven in 2012 — 60 tackles, 11 pass deflections, four interceptions, two forced fumbles in 14 starts — that he still has plenty left in the tank.
But individual accomplishments only go so far for a player with Rhodes’ NFL experience. After getting a chance to taste postseason play in 2009 when the New York Jets made it to the AFC Championship game, Rhodes admittedly doesn’t want to settle for anything less at this point in his career.
With the Cardinals sitting at 5-10 with only one game remaining this season, it seems Rhodes will begrudgingly have to head to the off-season several weeks earlier than he had originally planned.
And on Monday, he let his feelings be known about the team’s underwhelming season to date.
“It’s mentally draining more than anything,” Rhodes said. “When you go through a season like this, your aches hurt a little more and your body doesn’t feel as good. It takes a toll on you in every way possible.”
While Rhodes’ tremendous season has certainly aided the Cardinals’ defense — ranked No. 4 in the NFL in takeaways — it will all be for naught in 2012, as the team is headed to its third straight campaign without a winning record.
The former Louisville star candidly said that going through a season like the Cardinals are currently enduring has even made it tough for him when he leaves his day job behind.
“Even at home, you don’t enjoy being at home,” said Rhodes. “It’s just tough.”
If there is a silver lining to Arizona’s woeful season, it’s that Rhodes and Co. still have the opportunity to keep the San Francisco 49ers from winning the NFC West division — something that looked like an absolute certainty just a month ago.
“The important thing for us [as a defense] this week is to continue playing like we have been playing,” said Rhodes. “Play strong, try to fight and get a win.
“You put yourself on tape every week, that’s how you get judged. So for us, it’s important to come out and play well.”
Rhodes is currently under contract through 2013, but in recent weeks it’s been reported that he and the organization are in the process of working out terms for a two-year extension.