The Arizona Cardinals Football Club today announced that the team has released strong safety ADRIAN WILSON.
Wilson (6-3, 230) spent the past 12 seasons with the Cardinals after joining the team as a third-round selection (64th overall) in the 2001 NFL Draft out of N.C. State. A five-time Pro Bowl selection (2006, 2008-11), he leaves the Cardinals with 987 tackles (716 solos), 25.5 sacks, 27 interceptions, 106 passes defensed, 13 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and four touchdowns in 181 regular season games (162 starts). Wilson and Hall of Famer Larry Wilson (1962-63, '65-70) are the only two safeties in team history selected to five or more Pro Bowls.
"All of us thank Adrian for what he has meant not only to our organization but also to this community," said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill. "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."
"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 Cardinals GM Steve Keim. "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 #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."
A five-time team captain (2007, 2009-12), Wilson is one of just six players in NFL history (Ronde Barber, Brian Dawkins, Rodney Harrison, Ray Lewis, William Thomas) with at least 25 sacks and 25 interceptions.
His 181 games played rank as the fifth-highest total in team history and the second most among Cardinals defenders behind only Hall of Fame defensive back Roger Wehrli (193). Wilson's 27 INT's rank sixth in team history, his 25.5 sacks are tied for 11th on the Cardinals all-time list and his 508 INT return yards rank fifth. His four NFC Defensive Player of the Week selections are the most in team history.
Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, Wilson's 25.5 career sacks rank as the fourth-best total in league history among defensive backs and his eight sacks in 2005 were the most in a single season in NFL history by a defensive back.
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