Top 5 Potential Landing Spots for Adrian Wilson
It's the end of an era in the desert.
After 12 seasons in Arizona, five Pro Bowls and a trip to the Super Bowl, the Cardinals released strong safety Adrian Wilson on Friday.
Wilson, who had 54 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and an interception in 2012, is clearly in the twilight of his career at 33. However, according to Mike Jurecki of 910 AM in Phoenix, Wilson isn't ready to hang up his cleats just yet.
Assuming that's the case, and that Wilson wishes to continue his career, here's a look at a handful of teams who would be well-served to give Wilson's agent a call.
Robert Laberge/Getty Images
The Dallas Cowboys aren't in the best position in regards to the salary cap, although the team has been restructuring deals like crazy recently in an effort to create room under this year's cap of $123 million.
With that being said, it would behoove Dallas to try to find the room for Adrian Wilson from a competitive standpoint.
The Cowboys recently cut starting free safety Gerald Sensabaugh, and presumptive strong safety Barry Church is an unproven option coming back from an Achilles injury.
Yes, Adrian Wilson may not be the player he once was, but he's better than anything the Cowboys presently have. What's more, Monte Kiffin's Tampa 2 defense could disguise many of Wilson's coverage deficiencies.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Adrian Wilson isn't the best player in coverage any more.
However, Wilson actually fared pretty well in that regard in 2012, ranking 18th among safeties according to Pro Football Focus.
Mike Adams, who started at strong safety for Denver for the majority of 2012, ranked 55th.
Wilson also isn't the sort of player who stupidly lets a wide receiver get behind him with less than a minute to play in a playoff game.
The Broncos may not be able to offer Wilson a fat payday, but they can offer him a legitimate shot at returning to the Super Bowl.
At this point in Wilson's career, that's an offer that will carry some weight.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
On one hand, the Chicago Bears defense is already filled with aging veterans, so in that regard it may not seem wise to add another player who is on the wrong side of 30.
On the other hand, if there's one spot on the Chicago defense that could use a face lift, it's at safety.
The team has been looking for a dependable option at the safety position for years now, and neither starting safety for the Bears ranked inside the top 20 at their position in 2012 according to Pro Football Focus.
Wilson may not be a long-term fix, but he'd be an upgrade for a team that feels like it's only a player or two away from a deep playoff run.
New England Patriots
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The New England Patriots would all but certainly appeal to Adrian Wilson, as joining the team would give the veteran a great chance at some more postseason glory.
The question is whether Wilson would appeal to the Patriots.
The guess here is yes.
The Patriots can use all the help they can get in the secondary. Strong safety is an area of need and Bill Belichick has never been shy about adding veteran free agents.
Granted, the Cardinals pulled Wilson in some nickel situations last year, but as PFF pointed out Wilson wasn't as horrible in coverage as he's been made out to be.
If the Patriots feel that Wilson's experience can mitigate his physical shortcomings, this could be an interesting fit.
Harry How/Getty Images
Not as interesting a fit as this one, though.
The Indianapolis Colts made a surprising run to the playoffs last year, and enter this season with over $40 million in cap space to play with.
Also, Tom Zbikowski is far from a worldbeater at strong safety, and it's hard to view Adrian Wilson as anything other than an upgrade in that regard.
Add in that Wilson can probably be had for a reasonable salary, and this is a move that makes quite a bit of sense, especially given Wilson's extensive experience playing in a 3-4 defense.
Adrian Wilson and Antoine Bethea would be a very intriguing safety tandem.
Who Else Could It Be?
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
There are bound to be more teams than those listed here that could express interest in Adrian Wilson.
They include the Jacksonville Jaguars and San Diego Chargers, both of whom released their starter at strong safety on the same day that Wilson was let go.
Is there a team not listed here that you think would be a better fit for Adrian Wilson?
If so, speak up in the comments section and let's discuss it!