Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 3/11/13
The Cardinals continued their roster purge Monday by releasing running back Beanie Wells, the team's first-round pick in 2009 who started 23 games in his career but was slowed by numerous injuries. The 24-year-old Wells played in eight games last year, starting seven, while dealing with knee and turf-toe issues and finished with just 234 yards on 88 carries. He was also benched after a fumble in the Cardinals' loss to the Bears in their home finale. That came after a career year in 2011, when Wells ran for 1,047 yards and 10 touchdowns on 245 carries while playing through a knee injury. Wells also had knee problems in 2010, when an injury the team called a bruise was later revealed to be a torn meniscus that required surgery. In his four years with the Cardinals, Wells played in 51 games -- missing multiple games in all but his rookie year, when he missed part of training camp due to an ankle injury -- and had 2,471 yards and 24 touchdowns. His release will save the Cardinals about 1.5 million in salary-cap space and did not come as a surprise. Asked last month about the team's running game, new coach Bruce Arians praised 2011 first-round pick Ryan Williams -- "I know all about Ryan and I love him" -- and did not mention Wells, who would have been entering the final year of his contract. USA Today also reported over the weekend that the Cardinals have expressed interest in free-agent running back Reggie Bush, who averaged 1,036 yards and six touchdowns in his two years with the Dolphins and is also considered a strong receiver out of the backfield. Bush turns 29 next month. Wells took to Twitter after being informed of his released to thank the Cardinals: Just been informed that I'll be released today. Would like to thank the Cardinals organization for give me a chance to live out my Dreams Beanie Wells (@BeanieWells26) March 11, 2013 The NFL's free-agency period officially opens Tuesday.
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