December 30, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals strong safety Adrian Wilson (24) during the third quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Cardinals 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Which Free Agent Departure Will Hurt the Cardinals the Most?

On the surface, this would seem to be a very difficult question to answer, because of the extremely successful free agent signings this year. The Arizona Cardinals had probably and potentially the most successful and aggressive free agency in recent memory.    However, having said that, as I thought this through, there is only one name that I could not stop thinking about and must be the departure that will hurt the most.

The simple answer is Adrian Wilson.

Yes, the easy answer to this question has to be Wilson, for obvious reasons most Cardinal fans would probably agree on.  Not only for what he has done for the Cardinals on the field, as he will soon be in the “Ring of Honor,”  but what he stood for off the field.  In fact, I can say this without any reservation, Wilson truly holds a special place in Cardinal fans hearts and there are probably not enough words to describe the man and the player.

Wilson, was (and is) a true leader on and off the field with how he handled (s) himself.  Wilson will be missed for his leadership in the locker room and for his leadership off the field and in the community.  For that, he will be dearly missed by all Cardinal fans.

Oh, and he also intercepted 27 passes, 25.5 sacks and 894 combined tackles with the Cardinals. So, it’s safe to say the Cardinals will miss him at least a little.

Other notable free agent departures that will hurt the Cardinals and will be missed this year are,  (The Hyphen or The Howling) LaRod Stephens-Howling, Paris Lennon, Greg Toler and last but not least Adrian Wilson’s running mate and fellow safety Kerry Rhodes. The Cardinals won’t miss any of these players much on the field, but with the new team trying to gel, losing Wilson and others could hurt.

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