Five-time Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson has concluded to restructure his contract and will take a pay cut unless he meets incentives established in the new 4-year agreement.
The extension, which runs thru the 2015 season, was concluded to on Tuesday as the team reported to its training camp in Flagstaff.
The 32-year-old Wilson had 2 years remaining on the 5-year, $39 million deal he signed in June 2009. His salary would’ve been $6.5 million this year and $7.5 million towards the cap. The new deal lowers those numbers significantly. Reports recounted Wilson will take a $3.5 million pay cut this season.
But the total over the 4 years of the new agreement could reach $28 million to $30 million if he meets certain incentives.
The team approached Wilson and his agent, Eugene Parker, to rework the deal. Wilson went along, with the real reason being his wish to retire as a Cardinal.
Had he not accepted the restructuring, he knew he ran the danger of being released for income cap reasons.
“I didn’t want to be a cap casualty,” Wilson claimed. “At the same time I didn’t want to go out and play for another team. I can’t put my heart in another like I have this team. I knew that going in. I was just being fair with myself, and I’m here.”
No one else on the Arizona roster has been with the team so long as Wilson, a 4-time team captain who was a t3d-round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2001.
Wilson made the Pro Bowl last season for the 4th year running, despite being slowed by a torn biceps, an injury he sustained in training camp and that never fully healed throughout the season. Wilson, like almost all of his colleagues on defense, struggled early with the system of new coordinator Ray Horton, but came on powerful at the end of the season as the Cardinals won 7 of their last 9 games to finish 8-8. Sports scores
Wilson finished the 2011 season with a career-high 16 passes defensed. He had 75 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble. He was in on 1,134 defensive snaps, most of any player in the NFL.
The sturdy strong safety has played in 166 games, 10th-most in franchise history. In his 11-year career, Wilson has 26 interceptions, 22½ sacks, 12 forced fumbles and 9 fumble recoveries.
This is the 4th deal he has signed since the Cardinals selected him out of North Carolina State.
The Cardinals get an early start to training camp because they are going to play in the Hall of fame Game in Canton, Ohio, against New Orleans on August. 5. The team holds its 1st workout Wednesday at its Northern Arizona University practice facility amid the thin air and pines of Flagstaff, with an elevation of 7,000 feet and temperatures that are far cooler than the triple-digits of Phoenix.
The team will work out for a few days this week and the week before heading to Canton. After that, the Arizona Cardinals will practice in KC before playing the Chiefs there on August 10.
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