The Arizona Cardinals have released running back Chris “Beanie” Wells, a product of Garfield High School and Ohio State, after four injury-plagued seasons.
A first-round pick in 2009, Wells showed flashes of the brilliance he had at Ohio State, but has only played one full season — his rookie year.
Wells eclipsed 1,000 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in 2011, but was limited to eight games last season due to a turf toe injury. Last season, he ran for 234 yards and eight touchdowns as part of what was the worst offense in the NFL.
Wells has 2,471 yards and 24 touchdowns rushing, with 28 catches for 293 yards in 51 career games. He set a franchise record of 228 yards rushing against the St. Louis Rams in 2011, the only season in which he topped 1,000 yards. But he played in just eight games last season, averaging a career-worst 2.7 yards per carry.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell imagines a day when football players could be checked to determine whether their genetic makeup makes them more likely to develop brain disease. He also envisions players being required to wear helmets containing sensors to detect hits that cause concussions.
Those are the kinds of advances the NFL and General Electric are hoping to produce in a partnership that could funnel up to $60 million over four years to research on head injuries.
Most of the big names hitting NFL free agency aren’t big stars anymore.
While Ed Reed is coming off a Super Bowl season in Baltimore and Wes Welker catches 100 passes every year, this crop is more about aging defensive players such as Charles Woodson, Brian Urlacher and Ronde Barber.
When full free agency begins at 4 p.m. today, with all 32 teams under the $123 million salary cap, bidding wars might be furious.
The Denver Broncos have re-signed backup safety David Bruton to a three-year deal, keeping their special teams ace from entering free agency today. The Broncos also released troubled linebacker D.J. Williams, who was suspended for nine games last season and lost his starting job to Wesley Woodyard. … Cornerback DeAngelo Hall has been released by the Washington Redskins. … The San Francisco 49ers have signed nose tackle Ian Williams to a two-year contract extension. … Percy Harvin will join the Seattle Seahawks. Two people with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press that the Minnesota Vikings have agreed to trade the unhappy receiver to Seattle for a package that includes the Seahawks’ first-round draft pick in April. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade won’t be official until the league’s new year begins today and Harvin passes a physical. … The Dallas Cowboys have released linebacker Dan Connor and restructured the contracts of guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and cornerback Orlando Scandrick. … The New York Giants are allowing Victor Cruz to enter restricted free agency, placing a first-round tender on the wide receiver. … The New York Jets have signed quarterback David Garrard to back up starter Mark Sanchez.