Wells Released From Cardinals; Where Could He Land Next?
In the latest round of cuts this week, the Arizona Cardinals released veteran running back Beanie Wells.
Wells has been an instrumental part of both the Cardinals push for the playoffs in the Kurt Werner years as well as the disappointing seasons to follow. After being selected in the first round of the 2009 NFL draft, he posted 936 yards from scrimmage. The following year, he was hampered by injuries, but returned in 2011 to tally a career-best 1,047 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns.
Unfortunately, the Cardinals opted to pick up running back Ryan Williams in the 2011 draft, making Wells somewhat disposable. But after an injury to Williams in the first few weeks fo the season, Wells started seven games. It was then that he accrued a meager 2.7 yards per carry with a season-high 67 running yards on 17 carries against the Detroit Lions.
Before the final game in a Cardinals’ uniform, he was quoted saying “I’m just going to put my best foot forward for all the 31 other teams that’s watching.”
There is some upside for Wells. At 24 years of age, he is still relatively young for a running back. In short, he will be looked at by other NFL teams as a second-string or third-string back, which would mean his proneness to injuries is less of a concern.
The Pittsburgh Steelers may be the most ideal landing spot for Wells. Their current running back, Rashard Mendenhall, will sit out the first few games of the season with an injury. In which case, Wells could take up some carries alongside Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer.
Cincinnati Bengals also may draw some interest in Wells. Currently, they are set with BenJarvus Green-Ellis, but besides that, they have little depth to carry the load behind him. It would be a nice complimentary fit to their passing game featuring young stars in A.J. Green and Andy Dalton.
So while it comes as no surprise that Wells was released from the Cardinals, he does still have a promising career ahead of him as a bruising back with teams plagued with injury concerns in the running back core.