Cardinals release injury-plagued RB Beanie Wells
The Arizona Cardinals have released running back Beanie Wells
after four injury-plagued seasons.
A first-round pick in 2009, Wells showed flashes of the
brilliance he had at Ohio State, but has only played one full
season – his rookie year.
Wells eclipsed 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in 2011, but
was limited to eight games last season due to a turf toe injury.
Last season, he ran for 234 yards and eight touchdowns as part of
what was the worst offense in the NFL.
The move leaves the team thin at running back, with even more
injury-plagued Ryan Williams the main returner. Williams missed all
of his rookie 2011 season and most of last season with
Among the possible targets for the team under newly promoted
general manager Steve Keim is Reggie Bush.
Wells has 2,471 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing, with 28 catches
for 293 yards in 51 career games. He set a franchise record of 228
yards rushing against the St. Louis Rams in 2011, the only season
in which he topped 1,000 yards. But he played in just eight games
last season, averaging a career-worst 2.7 yards per carry.
The 6-foot-4, 229-pound Wells was envisioned as a power running
back to anchor Arizona’s offense but injuries and inconsistent play
kept him from being a consistent threat. He had only three 100-yard
rushing games in his four seasons in the desert.
After gaining four yards in three carries against Chicago in
Arizona’s next-to-last game of last season, Wells forecast his own
demise with the organization when he indicated that, in Arizona’s
finale against San Francisco, he would be auditioning for the NFL’s
other 31 teams. Then-coach Ken Whisenhunt didn’t take kindly to the
remark and benched him for the entire game.
Coming off their Super Bowl season, the Cardinals selected Wells
out of Ohio State with the 31st pick (out of 32) in the first round
in 2009. He reportedly was due a $1.3 million signing bonus this
He joins a growing list of Cardinals released in recent days
that includes five-time Pro Bowl strong safety Adrian Wilson, last
year’s starting cornerback William Gay, wide receiver Early Doucet
and inside linebacker bust Stewart Bradley.
”Just been informed that I’ll be released today,” Wells said
in a tweet. ”Would like to thank the Cardinals organization for
(giving) me the chance to live out my Dreams.”
A moment later, he added, ”The best is yet to come!!!”
With Keim in his new job and with a new coach in Bruce Arians,
just where the Cardinals are going in the next few days of free
agency is a mystery.
Running backs aside, the biggest question remains at
quarterback. Kevin Kolb is due a $2 million roster bonus this week
and, with a salary scheduled to hit $9 million in the coming
season, he almost certainly won’t return unless he restructures the
Arizona also released running back Fozzy Whittaker off its