The Cardinals released running back Edgerrin James as expected on Tuesday, but he wasn't the only veteran casualty of the salary cap. Cornerback Rod Hood and linebacker Travis LaBoy were also released by the team.
The Cardinals released running back Edgerrin James as expected on Tuesday, but he wasn't the only veteran casualty of the salary cap.
Cornerback Rod Hood and linebacker Travis LaBoy were also released by the team, as the Cardinals drafted defensive backs Rashad Johnson (third round) and Greg Toler (fourth round), and linebackers Cody Brown (second round) and Will Davis (sixth).
James' release was expected for months, as he expressed unhappiness with his role on the team. Once the Cardinals drafted Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells in the first round, James' fate was sealed.
The Cardinals were also looking to free up salary cap space as a way to possibly sign linebacker Karlos Dansby, safety Adrian Wilson or receiver Anquan Boldin to long-term deals.
James ($5 million salary) arrived in Arizona in 2006 as the highest-paid free agent signing in team history, and rushed for more than 1,000 yards his first two seasons. But his role was reduced with the presence of Tim Hightower last season, he didn't play for three games and finished with a career-low 514 yards rushing.
Hood ($3 million salary) was slated to be the team's nickel back behind starters Bryant McFadden and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, but it's likely either Ralph Brown, Johnson or Toler will compete for that spot.
LaBoy ($2 million salary) was expected to be part of the Cardinals' new 3-4 defensive scheme, but nagging injuries limited his production -- 4 sacks all came in two games -- in his only season with Arizona.
After prorated bonuses are factored in, the Cards will save approximately $6 million in cap space this year with the moves.
"It's never easy to release veteran players who have contributed to the team's success and these three individuals certainly fall into that category," said coach Ken Whisenhunt. "But like every decision we make, it simply comes down to what is in the best interest of our football team and what gives us the best chance for success. We're grateful to all three of them for their contributions and wish them nothing but the best in the future."
The Cardinals' first minicamp of the season for veterans and rookies begins Friday.