The Cardinals released linebacker Raynoch Thompson Monday, ending Thompson’s rocky tenure with the team. The team also cut linebacker and special teamer LeVar Woods.
Just last week, Thompson — who had reported for the first day of the team’s voluntary conditioning workouts — insisted he wanted to be in Arizona, as long as the team felt the same.
“It’s a case where if they don’t want me here, I don’t want to be here,” Thompson said.
A message left with Thompson’s agent was not immediately returned.
The Cardinals did make one addition Monday, with free agent cornerback Robert Tate showing up to sign a new contract with the team. The Tate deal comes after Renaldo Hill, also a free agent, decided over the weekend to sign a one-year deal with Oakland rather than return to Arizona. Before Tate re-signed, David Macklin was the only cornerback on the roster with significant experience.
The Cards are also going to have to find linebacker depth somewhere now that Thompson’s up-and-down career with the Cards is over.
Thompson was suspended by the team for a game in 2001 after being cited for driving under the influence. Then during the 2003 season, he signed a four-year contract extension worth more than $11 million, but was later suspended the final four games of the year for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, again for drinking alcohol.
The problem was Thompson’s positive test came days before signing the contract extension, leading the team to withhold part of Thompson’s $2.6 million signing bonus. Thompson long ago filed a grievance against the team, which still has not been settled.
Once Dennis Green took over as coach, Thompson never seemed to fit into the new system and he actually asked Green to release him last summer. Thompson — who suffered a knee injury in the final 2004 preseason game — played little after returning to the field after coming back.