Arizona Cardinals should have signed Adrian Wilson

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Sometimes as sports fans we think we know everything. We are sure that the teams we follow will make the moves that seem so obvious to us. This past May, the Arizona Cardinals drafted Deone Bucannon in the first round. In his first press conference after the selection, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim hesitated to utter the name Adrian Wilson when talking about the rookie. Then he went right ahead and did just that.

After the Cardinals took Bucannon, I shared my thoughts on Twitter about how perfect it would be to sign A-Dub to come in and mentor the kid. Wilson, a huge fan favorite in Arizona and the next player likely to join Kurt Warner in the Ring of Honor, was recently released by the Patriots. Wilson signed with the Patriots after being released by the Cardinals because of salary cap reasons, but he never saw the field after suffering an injury to his Achilles tendon. Wilson has never played a regular season game for any other team and was now available. Sounds like a perfect time to bring him back home to finish his career as a Cardinal right?

Apparently not.

This past week Wilson signed with the Chicago Bears to help add depth to their depleted secondary. Wilson signed what almost certainly was a value contract, probably not too far from the veteran’s minimum with some possible incentives thrown in for good measure if he sees the field for any considerable amount of time. Why didn’t the Cardinals jump on that deal? It’s not like they’re overcrowded at the position. Tyrann Mathieu is still not back from his injury and Bucannon is still a rookie trying to learn a difficult position at the NFL level. Wilson could have provided the Cardinals with additional depth while also providing a respected veteran voice in the locker room.

There is one more reason the Cardinals should have brought Wilson back to the team. The reality of the situation is that there’s a pretty good chance that Wilson doesn’t even make the Bears roster. He is 34 years old and trying to come back from a pretty serious injury and hasn’t played football much over the past year. The NFL is a harsh business, teams don’t hesitate to move on from aging players in this league. If Wilson doesn’t make the Bears roster there’s a pretty good chance his NFL career is over.

If Wilson’s career does come to an end this preseason, what better place to finish it than the one place he spent his whole career? On the other hand if he does still have something left in the tank, he could have brought a career full of wisdom and his legendary intensity to the Cardinals secondary that is looking to take the next step as a unit. I think it would have been a win-win situation for the Cardinals.

No matter what happens, Adrian Wilson will always be remembered as an Arizona Cardinal. One day soon his name will rise to it’s rightful place among the other Cardinal greats in the Ring of Honor.

That will just have to be good enough.

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  • Linda Westbrook

    I loved the article! Excellent evaluation of Wilson, Brandon!