Cardinals release Adrian Wilson

Updated: March 8, 2013, 4:04 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Arizona Cardinals on Friday released five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson.

Wilson, who had been the longest-tenured player on the team, took a pay cut to stay with the Cardinals before last season, but knew as it was winding down that it would be his final one in the desert.

"In every franchise, there is a select group of players whose contributions earn them iconic status and for us, Adrian Wilson will always be one of those players," Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said. "He joined us at a key time in our organization's evolution and helped lead us into a new era. We will always be grateful for that and look forward to the day when he's placed in the Ring of Honor at University of Phoenix Stadium alongside the other all-time great Cardinals."

Wilson played 12 seasons with the Cardinals and is one of six NFL players with 25 interceptions and 25 sacks. A Pro Bowler in 2006 and 2008-11, he has 27 interceptions and 25.5 sacks, including eight in 2005, which were the most ever by a defensive back.

Wilson played 181 games with Arizona, fifth-most in team history, and was a team captain five times, including last season.

"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," Cardinals GM Steve Keim said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.