Toward the end of last season, Beanie Wells said he’d be shopping himself around to the 31 other teams in the league – basically putting his résumé tape together if you will.
Now, Wells will have much more time to get that done, because he’s no longer an Arizona Cardinal, after the team let him go on Monday after a four-year run with the team.
Letting Wells go will save the team $1.5 million in cap space.
The team also released running back Fozzy Whittaker on Monday.
2012 was Wells’ worst year by far with the team. A toe injury and recurring knee problems severely limited Wells and his production.
Wells played in eight games (seven starts), rushed 88 times for 234 yards and five touchdowns.
The year prior was Wells best season no doubt. In 2011, he rushed 245 times for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Having that type of production had Cardinals fans and the organization excited to see what Wells could do in 2012, but the injury bug killed any momentum Wells had coming into the season.
That bug limited Wells from the days of minicamp, OTAs and training camp up in Flagstaff, Ariz., and never left his side the entire time.
For his career, Wells carried the ball 625 times for 2,471 yards and 24 touchdowns in the 51 games he played for Arizona.
Wells was heading into the fifth and final season of a rookie contract that was to pay him $9.6 million. He was set to make $1,407,500 in base salary this season, with an additional $50,000 workout bonus tacked onto that.
“Just been informed that I’ll be released today. Would like to thank the Cardinals organization for give me a chance to live out my Dreams,” Wells said on Twitter.
So what does the future hold for the Cardinals at the running back position?
Glad you asked.
It would make sense to see Ryan Williams shoot to the top of the depth chart now that Wells is gone. Williams is heading into his third season with the Cardinals, and should he stay healthy for a full season, he’ll have something to prove to the naysayers who doubt his durability.
The team also extended offers to William Powell and Alfonso Smith in order to keep them in-house.
Of course, the Cardinals also have LaRod Stephens-Howling on the roster. LSH came on quite strong last year while the team was without Wells and Williams. He should continue to be a major focal point in the backfield this coming season.
And of course there’s free agency, which conveniently starts on Tuesday.
The Cardinals, by all accounts, are quite interested in both Rashard Mendenhall and Reggie Bush, both of whom I think would be solid additions to the Cardinals backfield, if and when they can land one of them.
It’s unfortunate that things didn’t work out for Wells the way he and the team would’ve liked for them to, but that’s the nature of the beast which is the NFL. Guys come and go all the time.
Wells should be able to link up with another team and hopefully have a strong rest of his career.