The Arizona Cardinals have been cutting plenty of players this offseason, and they unsurprisingly parted ways with veteran safety Adrian Wilson about a week ago. The decision must have been a difficult one for the Cardinals to make, and the New England Patriots were the first team to work him out.
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Wilson is on a work out to the Patriots today, and I am glad the Pats are taking a close look at signing Wilson to man the strong safety position. His play did slip last year, but the 33-year-old was still above-average in coverage. However, his run defense was the portion of his game that slipped, and I think the Cardinals overreacted at his slip in play by benching him in nickel packages.
This is all very interesting, because Wilson had an elite year in 2011. He was shutdown in coverage and was his usual playmaking self in run defense, and it will be interesting to see if he can find a way to stave off age and put together another season like that. Even if his 2011 campaign was something of a swan song for him, Wilson is still a viable player and would be a great as a one year stop-gap for the Patriots.
It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Tavon Wilson‘s, and I think he can be a legitimate starting safety in this league if groomed properly. He already showed potential last season, and the Pats aren’t going to suddenly de-invest in a second-round pick who showed promise. Instead, it is far more prudent for the Patriots to sign a veteran like Adrian Wilson to help groom Tavon Wilson into a starting gig, and that mentor-apprentice dynamic would be interesting to watch. And hey, Wilson could turn back the clock two years and deliver another sensational season.
Adrian Wilson is somebody who fits what the Patriots could use at strong safety, because Devin McCourty will take care of the high safety stuff with his elite coverage ability. Wilson, meanwhile, can play in-the-box to stop the run, handle underneath routes and intermediate coverage, and he can even rush the passer when necessary.
Ed Reed is pretty much guaranteed to sign with the Houston Texans, and his price tag is higher than Wilson’s. In my opinion, Wilson fits the Patriots just as well as Reed (actually, he probably fits them better since he is an SS), and I am glad the Patriots are taking a close look at bringing him on board; he would be a great mentor for Tavon Wilson.
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