Jets reverse course, trade Rhodes after all

New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum was asked on a Friday afternoon conference call whether safety Kerry Rhodes would remain with the team.

"We expect Kerry to be here unless something changes," Tannenbaum replied. "We expect Kerry to be here for the offseason program and to be with us next year and beyond."

Something changed.

The Jets agreed in principle Saturday night to trade Rhodes to the Arizona Cardinals for a 2010 fourth-round draft pick and a 2011 seventh-round pick. The move comes after the Cardinals' failed attempt to keep safety Antrel Rolle.

Rhodes went into last season hoping to be a star in Rex Ryan's aggressive defense but fell out of favor.

He looked like a playmaker in 2006 and 2007, recording 165 tackles, seven sacks, nine interceptions, 16 passes defensed and five forced fumbles.

But in 2008, Eric Mangini's last season as Jets head coach, Rhodes looked ordinary while often asked to play centerfield and not get involved as much. He led the Jets with 81 tackles, but he had one sack, two interceptions, five passes defensed, zero forced fumbles and two recoveries.

Rhodes expected to be unleashed, but he eventually lost his starting job to Eric Smith, breaking a string of 74 starts that began on opening day of his rookie season.

Rhodes seemed to have his greatest impact after he was demoted, recording all of his interceptions subsequently. He finished with 65 tackles, two for losses.

Tannenbaum was asked Friday if he expected his stance on Rhodes to change.

"No, I don't," Tannenbaum said. "But in this business, you see some of the players get let go at the end of the day. Going back to my previous answer, did I think we'd add Ben Hartsock or Braylon Edwards during the season? No.

"We do expect Kerry here. We expect him to be here for the offseason program."

So much for that.