Safety Adrian Wilson sent out a tweet Friday afternoon thanking the Patriots for the opportunity and with that came an end to his very disappointing – and short – tenure in New England.
"Thank you to the Patriots organization for the opportunity. I look forward to the future" was Wilson's message, and aside from costing the team $2 million while never playing a down his absence will cause barely a ripple around Gillette Stadium.
Wilson' release comes as no surprise to anyone who watched the veteran struggle throughout training camp last summer before landing on injured reserve when final cuts were made, a move that likely prevented him from being released at the time. He was particularly exposed during the third preseason game in Detroit when he was asked to help in coverage underneath against Reggie Bush in the first half and was overmatched, and then played deep into the second half in a more traditional deep safety role and surrendered a touchdown in that capacity as well.
At some point age catches up to all of us, and the 34-year-old Wilson appears to have reached the end of the road after a terrific career in Arizona. He had 27 interceptions and 25.5 sacks during his 12 years with the Cardinals but by the end of his tenure in the desert he had lost significant playing time and was coming off the field in passing situations.
The Patriots already said good-bye to veteran safety Steve Gregory earlier in the offseason and yesterday welcomed back Patrick Chung. Still, there would appear to be a void at the position with only Devin McCourty entrenched as a starter. Duron Harmon saw significant playing time as a rookie in 2013, but he is not a lock to earn the job alongside his fellow Rutgers product.
The need for a physical presence at safety exists, but if the Patriots are to add one this offseason it would appear that the draft would be the most likely place to get it.