The Cardinals remain off (as do I) while waiting for the start of training camp at the end of the month, so now is as good a time as any to note a pair of ex-Cards who have transitioned from the NFL to a place both seemed headed for when they were still playing. Both running back Rashard Mendenhall and safety Kerry Rhodes have turned their creative sides into work in TV and film.
Mendenhall, who retired after playing one season in Arizona in 2013, arrived with a reputation of being a thinker. He had a blog on the Huffington Post, he made no secret of his love of reading, books and poetry (including writing it), and he was the kind of person whose early retirement wasn’t a big surprise. Football wasn’t going to be his defining role in life. Although it’s funny that his current work in the TV industry is for the new HBO series “Ballers,” which stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and chronicles NFL life, warts and all. Mendenhall would know, and he’s the kind of guy who feels strongly about acknowledging both the good and bad about playing in the league.
Rhodes too always seemed headed down this path. Heck, when he arrived in Arizona as part of the cluster of moves in 2010 when the Cards had to cut safety Antrel Rolle and traded Anquan Boldin, Rhodes came in with the nickname “Hollywood.” It had been given to him by Jets’ teammates, and it wasn’t necessarily meant as a compliment. Rhodes played pretty well during some down seasons — coming off a 2011 injury to be one of the bright spots of a bad 2012 — but when the Cards decided to get younger at safety after that season with a new coaching staff, both he and Adrian Wilson were let go. Rhodes never did play again, moving into the entertainment business and now set to release a documentary called “Gone in an Instant,” which goes over the pro life of former NBA star Antoine Walker and his decent into bankruptcy after a career in which he made $110 million. I’m sure there will be more. This is a guy who knows Channing Tatum of “Magic Mike” and “21 Jump Street” fame well enough that Tatum actually visited a Cardinals’ training camp practice in Flagstaff in 2012 (and appearing on Rhodes’ version of the Big Red Rage.)
Tags: Kerry Rhodes, Rashard Mendenhall
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