It was not unexpected. At a press conference at the Arizona Cardinals team facility safety Adrian Wilson signed a contract to join the Cardinals once again, but only to officially retire from the NFL as a member of the team that drafted him in 2001 and the only team for which played in 12 seasons.
His retirement will be official on Tuesday, 14 years to the date from when he was drafted in the third round by Arizona.
That isn't it, though. He will have an eventful year. He will head out to Chicago next week for the 2015 NFL Draft and will announce one of the Cardinals draft picks on Friday. Wilson will also join the Cardinals Ring of Honor in 2015.
While he is uncertain about his immediate future, he is expected to join the team in some official capacity. He will help out with the defensive backs in offseason workouts.
Wilson (6-3, 230) spent 12 seasons (2001-12) 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) and three time All-Pro selection (2006, 2008-09), he finishes his NFL career with 987 tackles (716 solos), 25.5 sacks, 27 interceptions, 106 passes defensed, 15 forced fumbles, eight 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.
A five-time team captain (2007, 2009-12), the 35-year old 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 sixth-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 rank 12th 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.