The Arizona Cardinals have released a few veteran free agents this offseason, and the Cardinals will now move on from long-time safety Adrian Wilson today. Mike Jurecki tweeted that the Cardinals “informed” Wilson of his release, and the veteran safety will get his release papers today. This comes as little surprise, but it will be weird to see Wilson patrolling the deep half of a secondary on a team other than the Arizona Cardinals.
Last season, Wilson did not look his usual excellent self, but he was actually okay overall. Wilson did a nice job in coverage, and the Pro Football Focus tabbed him with a 78.8 QB Rating allowed. However, Wilson looked more than a step too slow in run defense, and the N.C. State product looked significantly worse than he did in 2011. The 33-year-old safety had an amazing 2011 season, as he was nearly flawless in coverage and more than astute in run defense.
Wilson expected to get released by the Arizona Cardinals, and the event will take place today. It will be interesting to see what kind of a deal he gets on the open market, because that depends on whether teams think he will play closer to his 2011 performance than his 2012 performance. Based on his age and the fact that the Cardinals released him, it seems like teams believe Wilson’s slip in play last season was real. He wasn’t exactly horrible, but he looked below-average last year when looking at his all-around play.
The Cardinals also gave linebacker Stewart Bradley and veteran cornerback William Gay their walking papers last week, and neither release was surprising. Bradley just could not stay healthy and was a free agent bust, while Gay had a putrid 2012 campaign. The Cards will need to keep solid corner Greg Toler, and they have a decent, young CB in Jamell Fleming who looked better than Gay last year.
As for Adrian Wilson, I bet it stings for Cardinals fans to see him go, and I bet Wilson is upset at having to leave the Cardinals after spending 12 seasons with the team. A franchise in the need of a veteran safety who is solid in coverage should give Wilson a call, because he could fill that void.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter for more NFL updates and analysis @SorianoJoe.