Former Arizona Cardinals safety Kerry Rhodes spent the 2013 season out of football but does not think it has anything to do with rumors about his sexual orientation.
Rhodes, 31, was considered one of the NFL's top safeties in 2012 but could not land a job for the 2013 season. He believes it was more about his contract demands than his personal life.
"I don't think I was blacklisted," Rhodes told ESPN New York. "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.
" I emphatically said no once (to the gay rumor) and that's all I need to say. And people who know me know that's definitely not the case. To me, I'm definitely not and I can't control what people think, so I move on."
Rhodes is hoping to return to the league as a player in 2014. He worked for the Cardinals for three years but said he refused their offer to re-sign at a reduced salary after finishing the 2012 season with 58 tackles, four interceptions and one sack in 15 games. He also was with the New York Jets from 2005 to 2009.
"Every option for me is open," Rhodes said. "It's about me staying ready to go, I would probably have to take a deal right now, but if an opportunity that's good for them and also good for me I would entertain it and want to come back and play.
"I still love football and it's still a part of me. 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. It's just what works best. But definitely haven't closed that door yet."