Beanie Wells was drafted in the first round of 2009 to become the workhorse running back the team needed.
It only worked that way briefly, and the Cardinals ended the opportunity Monday when they released Wells with one year left on his contract.
On his Twitter account, Wells said in part, "Would like to thank the Cardinals organization for give me a chance to live out my Dreams."
He added in a second tweet, "The best is yet to come!"
Wells battled knee injuries throughout his career and a toe problem in 2012. He gained just 234 yards on 88 carries – a 2.7-per carry average – with five touchdowns. He had a very good season in 2011 with a career-best 1,047 yards (a 4.3 average) and 10
Last year, he clearly wasn’t 100 percent when the season started. Wells suffered his toe injury in the third week of the season, which landed him on the temporary injured reserve list, but Wells admitted it wasn’t the toe but his bad knee that truly needed the time off.
The Cardinals save approximately $1.5 million in cap space by cutting Wells.
Wells never quite got back to the level of his rookie season, when while sharing time with Tim Hightower he gained 793 yards and scored seven times on only 176 carries and looked like the heavy-duty running back of the future.
Wells sensed his time could be coming to an end in Arizona late last season, talking about putting himself on tape for other teams to see.
“It’s a performance-based business and I don’t know if I’ve done things up to our organization’s standards here,” Wells said then.
He didn’t see eye-to-eye with then-coach Ken Whisenhunt. Wells was benched for the season finale in San Francisco.
The Cardinals, who also released running back
The free agency period begins at 1 p.m. Arizona time Tuesday.