The Cardinals extended the contracts of four players Monday. Safety Adrian Wilson was not one of them. The date was key because if a deal was done, the team could have used some of the signing bonus as 2004 salary, lowering future salary cap hits.
Long snapper Nathan Hodel was extended through the 2007 season. Defensive end Peppi Zellner and safety Ifeanyi Ohalete, both starters, and running back Troy Hambrick were extended through the 2006 season.
But it was Wilson who would have gotten the biggest contract. Wilson went on KDUS (1060 AM) Monday morning and said his agent was flying into town that morning, ostensibly to get the deal finalized.
Then the news was released in the afternoon, and Wilson’s name was not on the list.
Wilson was clearly upset following practice, quickly saying "no comment" when approached by a reporter. Vice president of football operations Rod Graves declined to comment, saying only that they had tried to work out other deals besides the four extensions and nothing worked out.
Missing Monday’s deadline does not end contract talks. The Cardinals still want to get Wilson extended before the season ends Jan. 2.
A report out of an Orlando, Fla., television station last week said running back Emmitt Smith has already decided this will be his last season and will announce his retirement later this month.
The source for WFTV’s story was reportedly a friend of Smith.
Smith’s name has also been bandied about in Florida as a long shot to replace Ron Zook as coach at the University of Florida.
Smith has been coy about his future, although during an appearance on Anquan Boldin’s radio show earlier this season, he said he would like to come back next year if coach Dennis Green wanted him.
Smith was unavailable for comment Monday.
The Cardinals came out of Sunday’s game without any injuries. Boldin went down early in the game after slipping on the turf, but he returned soon after. Green said while Boldin may have hyperextended his knee, it wasn’t serious and Boldin is expected to practice Wednesday. . . .
Green said his special teams, after a horrific game in Buffalo and a bad start in Miami (Larry Croom fumbled away the opening kickoff), improved this week.