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Former starters Rhodes, Wilson in flux

Five months have passed since the Arizona Cardinals released starting safeties Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson.

Rhodes seemed to be coming off a productive 2012 season. Wilson was a franchise icon after 12 seasons with the team. While Arizona's concerns about inflated 2013 salaries seemed natural with a new regime taking over, it was fair to wonder whether the Cardinals could adequately replace both players in the short term.

Rhodes has yet to sign with another team, and Wilson was playing deep into the second half of the New England Patriots' fourth preseason game Thursday night, raising questions about whether he would remain past the Saturday reduction to 53-man roster limits.

ESPN's Field Yates and Mike Reiss took note when Wilson was not on the long list of key Patriots players sitting out the final preseason game. Their projections for the 53-man roster reflected Wilson's ambiguous status. Reiss included Wilson on his projected initial 53. Yates did not.

"While veteran Adrian Wilson might be cut based on playing into the second half, it still seems like there is room for him to fit," Reiss wrote.

Yates' take: "Wilson seemingly hasn't separated himself from the pack during the preseason, leading to a likely starting pairing of Devin McCourty and Steve Gregory again."

The Cardinals have moved on. I would not expect them to bring back Rhodes or Wilson in the absence of injuries. The fact that neither player appears likely to flourish elsewhere validates the Cardinals' decision to dump their salaries. Rhodes was scheduled to earn $6 million this season. The figure was $2.5 million for Wilson.