Cardinals GM: Team declined to release benched RB James

Drew Rosenhaus, agent for Arizona Cardinals running back Edgerrin James, confirmed news reports that his client has asked to be released, but the request was rejected.

"We spoke with [general manager] Rod Graves because Edgerrin still believes he is a 1,000-yard back and he is healthy and he is still capable of being a 1,000-yard back for a team," Rosenhaus said. "He is not playing now, and there are teams that are banged up at the running back position that he could help. We didn't get the answer we were hoping for."

Graves said on Wednesday evening that Rosenhaus asked if the team would consider
releasing James "and we declined it as a consideration."

"I explained to him that we still saw Edgerrin as a valuable
member of our football team," Graves said.

Rosenhaus said the request to be released was made last week and that he will continue to speak with Cardinals management. James has lost his starting job to rookie Tim Hightower. Over the past three games, James has had only three carries for 5 yards.

"Edgerrin isn't trying to cause any problems," Rosenhaus said. "He has had a Hall of Fame career and he has enjoyed his stay in Arizona. But it's apparent that he's probably not going to be back with the Cardinals next season. If that's the case, he can move and help another team and get a start now."

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report