Anderson arrested in police prostitution sting

The Arizona Cardinals fired first-year wide receivers coach Richie Anderson on Monday evening, just four days after he was arrested for allegedly soliciting an undercover Phoenix police officer who was posing as a prostitute as part of a sting operation.

Richie Anderson Anderson

Head coach Ken Whisenhunt announced the dismissal of Anderson, who was hired in late January, in a statement released by the team.

"I wanted a chance to review the details of the situation before making any decision," Whisenhunt said. "While it's disappointing, I've decided that this is clearly in the best interest of our team in this particular instance. Our focus now is on finding a replacement and I am confident we will be able to do that relatively soon."

Anderson, 35, was one of five men arrested last Thursday evening at the Pointe South Mountain Resort, the site of the sting operation. He was taken into custody without incident, police said, and held at the Fourth Avenue Jail for a short time before being released on bond.

Police have not released any further details of the incident.

Anderson played 13 seasons in the NFL as a fullback for the New York Jets (1993-2002) and the Dallas Cowboys (2003-05), appearing in 161 games. The former Penn State standout was one of the league's most accomplished receivers out of the backfield during his long NFL tenure.

He caught 400 passes for 3,149 yards and 14 touchdowns and carried 318 times for 1,274 yards and four touchdowns. He holds the Jets' franchise record for most receptions by a back with 305. Anderson was chosen for the 2000 Pro Bowl game.

In 2006, Anderson served as the Jets' assistant wide receivers and tight ends coach.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.