The Cardinals released linebacker Stewart Bradley and cornerback William Gay on Friday, saving the club an estimated $7 million in cap space, with the club still hoping to restructure deals for quarterback Kevin Kolb and, possibly, safety Kerry Rhodes.
Aside from the fact that the cuts put the team under the new salary cap that was set at $123 million on Thursday, neither move came as a surprise. Gay gave the Cardinals a physical presence at corner but struggled in coverage and was always viewed as a stop-gap. With Patrick Peterson and still promising 2012 pick Jamell Fleming in the fold, the Cards have options, but cornerbacks Michael Adams and Greg Toler, along with safeties Rashad Johnson and James Sanders, are unrestricted free agents, so there are plenty of decisions to make in the secondary.
Bradley was one of the biggest free-agent disappointments in recent Cards history. He signed a five-year, $25 million contract following the 2011 lockout and was expected to beat out aging Paris Lenon for a starter’s role next to Daryl Washington. But he never adjusted to the Cards’ scheme and was finally relegated to special teams play.
Bradley took a 50 percent pay cut last season and insisted that he was more comfortable with then-coordinator Ray Horton’s defense, but by the end of last season, he fell behind Reggie Walker on the depth chart.
Bradley had just nine tackles last season, seven in the regular-season finale after Lenon left with an injury. He was due to make $5 million this season.