Adrian Wilson has been a mainstay in the Cardinals secondary for the past 12 years.
On Friday, his time with the team came to an end, as they announced his release.
“All of us thank Adrian for what he has meant not only to our organization but also to this community,” team president Michael Bidwill said. “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,” Bidwill said. “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.”
Last season, Wilson seemed to see the writing on the wall as far as the fiscal end of things go in the NFL. So right before training camp began, he took a pay cut in order to ensure his spot on the 53-man roster.
Wilson was due a $1 million roster bonus on Tuesday. Cutting Wilson will save the Cardinals $3.75 million in salary. They’ll gain another $3 million in salary cap space with this move.
Wilson – a five time Pro Bowler – leaves the team with 987 tackles (716 solo), 25.5 sacks, 27 interceptions, 106 passes defensed, 13 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and four touchdowns.
Wilson made 162 starts in his dozen years with the organization. His 181 games played is the fifth-highest in team history.
“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,” said general manager Steve Keim. “His disruptive style meant opponents always had to know where #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,” Keim said.
Wilson put this on his Instagram account shortly after being informed he was being let go:
“It’s been an honor and a pleasure Cardinal fans. 12 years of heart and dedication and loyalty. 1 day we’ll celebrate the #24 together.”