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Cardinals announce the release of Adrian Wilson

The Arizona Cardinals are parting with one of the greatest players in franchise history.

Safety Adrian Wilson, who has been with the team since 2001, has been informed the team is planning on releasing him, as first reported by KGME’s Mike Jurecki. Arizona Sports 620’s Paul Calvisi has confirmed the report.

The move will save Arizona $3.5 million in 2013.

“All of us thank Adrian for what he has meant not only to our organization but also to this community,” said Cardinals President Michael Bidwill in a press release. “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.”

Wilson was a third round draft pick of the Cardinals in 2001 out of North Carolina State. He played in all 16 games as a rookie, intercepting two passes, including one for a 61-yard touchdown in a season-ending loss to the Washington Redskins.

A five-time Pro Bowler, Wilson accumulated 894 tackles, 25.5 sacks and 27 interceptions as a Cardinal,. He tallied just 54 tackles in 2012, which is his lowest mark since 2007, when he played in just nine games.

In his career, Wilson tallied 987 tackles, 25.5 sacks and 27 interceptions. He is one of only six players in the history of the National Football League to register at least 25 sacks and 25 interceptions.

“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,” said Cardinals GM Steve Keim.

Following the Cardinals’ final home game of 2012, a 28-13 loss to the Chicago Bears on December 23, Wilson was asked about his future with the team.

“You know what, I haven’t thought about that one bit until you guys continuously bring it up,” he said. “If they make a decision, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be pretty quick. If they don’t, okay.

“Either way it goes, I’m a good player, so we’ll see what happens.”