Tempe, AZ (Darren Urban, azcardinals.com) - In the end, Adrian Wilson never did play another down - at least in the regular season - with another team.
That was the five-time Pro Bowl safety's goal, to play his entire career with the Cardinals. And while he had a few preseason appearances with the Patriots in 2013 and the Bears in 2014, every single one of Wilson's 181 career NFL games came in a Cardinals' uniform. It was a notable achievement Monday, when Wilson signed a contract with the Cards so he could officially retire from the game as a member of the franchise.
Wilson announced his retirement during a press conference at the Cardinals' Tempe facility, alongside team president Michael Bidwill and General Manager Steve Keim. Several of Wilson's former teammates were in attendance, including current Cardinals Patrick Peterson, Justin Bethel and Rashad Johnson.
Wilson is also expected to be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor during the 2015 season. Bidwill promised Wilson would eventually receive that distinction when the team released Wilson following the 2012 season.
The Cardinals have also talked to Wilson about a potential role in the organization once he retired. But Wilson hadn't been ready to call it quits; It was in January at the Super Bowl the 36-year-old Wilson said he was still hoping to get signed by a team for 2015.
“I've had people ask what I was doing as far as if I was playing,” Wilson said. “I give them a generic answer because for me to sit there and explain how my emotions are tapped into football, it would take days for me to do that.”
Wilson is one of only six players in NFL history with at least 25 sacks and 25 interceptions, joining Ronde Barber, Brian Dawkins, Rodney Harrison, Ray Lewis and William Thomas.
In his career, Wilson 25½ sacks, 27 interceptions, 15 forced fumbers, eight fumble recoveries, four touchdowns and 987 tackles. Known for his big hits, he and Hall of Famer Larry Wilson are the only two safeties in franchise history to be named to at least five Pro Bowls. His eight sacks in 2005 are the most in a season by an NFL defensive back.
His 181 games are the sixth-most in team history and second-most among defenders, behind only Hall of Fame cornerback Roger Wehrli.