Cardinals release former first-round RB Beanie Wells
Beanie Wells was scheduled to make $1.157 million in base salary, along with a $1.3 roster bonus in 2013. His release saves the Arizona Cardinals over $1.5 million in cap space.
However, the move is less about financial concerns by the Arizona Cardinals, and has more to do with Beanie Wells’ proven talent and whether he fits in the scheme. When the Arizona Cardinals signed Beanie Wells in the second-round of the 2008 draft, they were hoping he’d be the workhorse running back the team desperately needed. While Beanie Wells had 176 carries for 793 yards and seven touchdowns in his rookie year, it was the only season he completed throughout his career. Over the past four seasons, Beanie Wells has battled with knee and toe injuries.
Beanie Wells had a breakout season in 2011, rushing for 1,047 yards on 245 carries and scoring 10 touchdowns while battling knee issues. But the injury finally caught up with Beanie Wells, who was limited to 234 yards on 88 carries, and eight touchdowns while also suffering a turf toe injury in Week 3 of last season.
After spending some time on the injured-reserve due to the toe injury, Beanie Wells was again benched for the season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, while he was relatively healthy. Moreover, Beanie Wells never really clicked with then Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, so the writing had been on the wall about the Cardinals’ inevitable release of Wells. Beanie Wells only started seven of eight games for the Arizona Cardinals last season.
The 24-year-old Beanie Wells played 51 career games (with 23 starts), while amassing 2,471 yards on 625 carries and scoring 24 touchdowns for the Arizona Cardinals.
Beanie Wells’ release puts third-pro Ryan Williams at the top of the Arizona Cardinals’ depth chart; while running backs William Powell and Alfonso Smith also remain on the roster. The Arizona Cardinals are reportedly also pursuing veteran running backs Rashard Mendenhall and Reggie Bush on the open market. Rashard Mendenhall played under Arizona Cardinals’ current head coach Bruce Arians back in Pittsburgh.