In a somewhat shocking development on Friday, it became known that the Arizona Cardinals would be releasing strong safety Adrian Wilson. Wilson is going to be 34 by the end of next season, but he had still played well into his 12th season last year. He finished the year with 54 tackles, three sacks, one forced fumble and one interception. His leadership was also pivotally important for the play of what proved to be an excellent unit.
Despite being past the twilight of his career, the New England Patriots must be tempted to make a move for Wilson. The Patriots lacked the quality at the safety position last year to advance past the championship round. With Devin McCourty manning the free safety spot entering next season, the Patriots should be in the market for a free agent strong safety in the mold of Wilson.
Wilson is a hard-hitting, in the box safety who often arrives at the line of scrimmage to shut down running backs. However, he is also athletic enough to track most tight ends in the league and has the awareness to fit into zone coverage. With Wilson in the lineup, the Patriots would have the toughness that was lacking on the backend last season when Aqib Talib wasn't on the field.
Couple all that with the fact that he likely won't be a highly sought after free agent, because of his age, and the Patriots could sign him for a relatively low cost. While they would only be able to get two years from him at most, Wilson would help them win that final championship during that time. The Patriots aren't looking for a long-term answer at the position. They believe the already have the future on the roster with Tavon Wilson and McCourty, who both have the majority of their careers ahead of them.
By signing Wilson, the Patriots would have helped their defense while still leaving them with plenty of financial flexibility to re-sign Aqib Talib and add other pieces to a defense that has many needs. Having Talib and Wilson on the backend, the Patriots would have altered half of their secondary to give them a physical presence that hasn't been there for a very long time.
That, and an added pass rusher, would help the Patriots put their defense over the top.