Seeing Adrian Wilson go is a sign of both good and bad things for the Arizona Cardinals. It brings out mixed emotions from fans because we know the blood, sweat and tears he has shed for this team, but we also know that this franchise needs to move in a new, younger direction.
"I kind of knew this day was coming," Wilson told Bickley and MJ on XTRA 910. Honestly, so did the rest of us. At age 34, Wilson's best days were behind him and the team wanted to bring a youth movement in with the new coaching staff. The writing was on the wall as early as last season, where Wilson was benched in favor of Rashad Johnson much of the time. Still, that doesn't make his recent release any less difficult to think about.
"My goal was to kind of stay here and finish my career here," he said. With the kind of season that we had and with the turnover, with the new head coach, with the new GM, the things they want to do as far as going forward in the franchise, I wasn't in those plans. I have no hard feelings towards those guys, that's the business of what they want do. I'm going to move forward and try to finish my career somewhere else, but I'll always be a Cardinal."
Wilson has not yet had time to sit down and reflect on his Cardinals career, but when he does, he will realize how illustrious it was. He is just one of six NFL players ever to join the 25-25 club for his sacks and interceptions. "When I first got here my whole goal was to retire as a Cardinal and try to put them into a better position than when I got here," Wilson said. "I feel like I've done that. I feel like I've left my mark here. I have nothing but great things to say about Arizona. They really afforded me a lot of things that I can do in my life going forward. I have no ill will towards them at all."
Wilson went on to say that he believes he still has three years in him where he compete at a high level in the NFL. He scoffed at being asked what kind of shape he is in right now because of the fact that he has always been known as a workout freak. Conditioning and preparation have never been a problem with A-Dub. That along with the fire he played with in each and every single game are going to be missed.
"We didn't win a lot, but we won some. For me, I can't be mad at that. I've had a great 12-year run here. I've accomplished a lot of great things here."
There is no doubt that Wilson will one day be apart of the Cardinals Ring of Honor for the work he has done both on and off the field here in the desert. He is the exemplary type of player that any franchise can hope for. "That means I've done my job as a player and as a person in the community," Wilson said of hopefully receiving that type of recognition. "It tells me that I've been extremely loyal to them. It tells me that they respect what I've done on the field and off the field. That's all you can ask for as a player."
Lastly, I leave you with this tweet from A-Dub that he sent out shortly after tearing his biceps muscle two seasons ago. As you probably remember, Wilson played through the injury. It's the little things like that that may go unnoticed by most of the NFL and media, but will always keep him apart of Cardinals lore.
Cardinal Fans just be patient and believe in the impossible.. #teamwilson I will never give up on this TEAM ever!!!— Adrian Wilson (@adrian_wilson24) August 7, 2011