Safety Adrian Wilson Released by Arizona Cardinals

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIMarch 8, 2013

The Arizona Cardinals have announced that they will release strong safety Adrian Wilson on Friday after the veteran's 12-year tenure with the franchise.

The team's verified Twitter page made the move official:

Wilson was selected by the Cardinals in the third round of the 2001 NFL draft out of North Carolina State, and he stayed fervently loyal to the organization despite missing out on the postseason for the first seven years of his career.

That was followed by two NFC West division titles, including a trip to Super Bowl XLIII, when the Cardinals fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were then-head coach Ken Whisenhunt's former employer.

Although many teams are making cost-cutting moves, Wilson was only going to command a $2.5 million salary and a $1 million roster bonus, as NFL.com's Marc Sessler points out. That's hardly a steep price for a four-time All-Pro safety.

However, the role Wilson had in Ray Horton's defense decreased in 2012, as the veteran was removed from the field when the nickel package was on.

With career totals of 25.5 sacks and 27 interceptions, the 33-year-old Wilson is one of six players in history to have at least 25 in each of those categories.

XTRA Sports 910's Mike Jurecki adds that Wilson won't be hanging up the cleats, despite being released.

As one of the most consistently productive and durable safeties in the game, there should be several teams interested in Wilson's services, despite his relatively older age. Wilson showed a lot of professionalism during the tough years in Arizona, and he should be rewarded with a shot at continuing his prolific career.

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