IRMINGHAM, Alabama - Kerry Rhodes has always been a writer, except he wasn't using words
As a safety, the Bessemer native long wrote the key scenes in football games. He did it at Jess Lanier High, the University of Louisville and ultimately for eight seasons in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams and New York Jets. His speed and skill sent a loud message to opposing offenses. Today, the former All Pro said he doesn't know if the final chapter of his playing career has been written.
"Not sure yet," he said in the living room of the Highland Lakes home he bought his parents. "If it has, it's been a great ride. I've accomplished a lot. I've been All Pro. I've been the highest paid player at my position. I've been thought of as one of the best players at my position since I played.
"If so, it's been good ride, great stuff."
A year ago Rhodes was in the Birmingham area to lead a fitness program at the Legacy YMCA. At the time, he told AL.com that his status as an NFL free agent would end with him signing on with an NFL team.
"It's in the works," he said then. He did not get signed, however, and did not play last season.
Speaking this week before his Healthy Kids Day at the Legacy Y, the 31-year-old said the offers he received were for less money than he wanted. He said his attention now is on other ventures - including writing for his production company - but he is still willing to play.
"Am I retired? No," he said. "If it's the right opportunity, I well play. Other than that, I'm really focused on my production company. I had a couple of opportunities last year; teams were interested but it just wasn't the right fit. In some cases, to be real, the money wasn't where I wanted it to be."
Last year, Rhodes was the subject of allegations about his sexual orientation. He said then and continues to say he is not gay, adding that those rumors haven't affected his playing status. "I would really doubt it," he said. "I think the NFL as a whole, they wouldn't do that. Looking back on it, I don't see it casting any doubt. It was more me not taking those offers that were given to me.
Now, Rhodes calls himself a writer and movie buff, and he is using those interests in his production company, It's The Comeback Kids.
"I just did this short film I actually wrote, starred in, produced, everything, called 'The Decision,'" he said. "It's a boxing movie I did. I actually wrote it and did everything on it."