SS Adrian Wilson will likely play for a new team in 2013 for the first time in his 12-year NFL career.
The Cardinals released Wilson on Friday. The 33-year old has played in 181 games for the Cardinals in 12 seasons.
In 2012, Wilson played in 15 games (14 starts) and had 54 tackles, three sacks, five passes defensed and one interception. He is one of four players in NFL history with at least 25 sacks (25½) and 25 interceptions (27). Wilson has 87 career passes defensed, including a career-high 14 in 2011.
“All of us thank Adrian for what he has meant not only to our organization but also to this community,” Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said in a statement. “In every franchise, there is a select group of players whose contributions earn them iconic status and for us, Adrian Wilson will always be one of those players. He joined us at a key time in our organization’s evolution and helped lead us into a new era. We will always be grateful for that and look forward to the day when he’s placed in the Ring of Honor at University of Phoenix Stadium alongside the other all-time great Cardinals.”
Wilson was due a base salary of $2.5 million in 2013, along with a $1 million roster bonus. He signed a four-year, $16.5 million contract last July.
“Decisions like this are never easy but it’s especially tough with someone like Adrian because he’s been such a special player and important part of this organization for the last 12 years,” general manager Steve Keim said, per the team's website. “He and I have a long history, as many know. I had the privilege of meeting Adrian at North Carolina State when he was a 17-year old freshman. It was obvious even then that his infectious smile and imposing stature could make him a star.
“His disruptive style meant opponents always had to know where number 24 lined up and the statistics illustrate all that he accomplished through his play on the field. Just as impressive, though, has been the leadership, discipline and determination he brought day in and day out, year in and year out.”