When the Arizona Cardinals abruptly released SS Adrian Wilson, it became apparent that he would be a hot commodity for the other 31 teams in the league. The four-time All Pro was the longest tenured player on the team up until this point, and was a difficult decision for GM Steve Keim, as Keim said this about Wilson’s release:
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.
Wilson now entering his 13th season, will be courted by numerous teams for his services. Some teams that come to mind are the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, and Indianapolis Colts, with the Colts being the front-runner as they have around $40 million to play with. But how about the 49ers? They already have Pro Bowl SS Donte Whitner under contract, so where does Wilson fit? At his age (33), Wilson will probably take a substantial pay-cut in order to finish on top, making the 49ers and Broncos as his landing destinations. Furthermore, Wilson can add both value and depth as a box safety, evident by being one of only six players in NFL history with at least 25 interceptions and 25 sacks. It remains unclear if Wilson would embrace a back-up role, however should he decide to go that route, he would be an ideal fit in Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense. Vangio would then have the opportunity to utilize Wilson’s strengths by using his skill-set in blitz packages. Wilson is one of the best blitzing safeties in the game and would greatly help out the pass-rush.
Also should FS Dashon Goldson leave via free-agency it would provide the 49ers with an insurance policy. A short-term insurance policy but nonetheless an insurance policy, as Wilson ran a 4.45 40-yard dash coming out of NC State. He may not have the same speed as he did 12 years ago, but he is smart and reliable enough to be a plug.
With free-agency set to open on Tuesday, it will be fun to see which teams actually target Wilson, as I strongly feel he has a few solid years left in the tank.