The Cardinals traded guard Reggie Wells to Philadelphia Friday.
Reggie Wells was a long shot when he came to the Cardinals, a sixth-round pick out of tiny Clarion in Pennsylvania.
Over seven seasons, though, the guard played in 104 games, starting 90 straight and became the one constant on an offensive line for Dave McGinnis, Dennis Green and Ken Whisenhunt.
That's why Whisenhunt, who had a glut of linemen heading into this season, was willing to go Wells Thursday night and ask him if he wanted to stay – and perhaps not play – or go elsewhere with a chance to start. Wells was OK with the idea of leaving, and so the Cardinals dealt Wells Friday to the Philadelphia Eagles for a reported sixth-round draft pick.
"It's tough because when I look at a guy like Reggie, he's been a big part of the reason we have had success," Whisenhunt said. "It hurts on a number of levels to see Reggie go. I think when we look where we are as a football team and where Reggie fits it, it didn't look like Reggie would be the starter, and that put him in a position where he wasn't going to play and potentially not even dress on game days.
"He was a tough, smart, very good player who handled himself like a professional."
Whisenhunt said Wells had a spot on the team had he wanted to stay. The trade wasn't unexpected, however. Wells was due to make $2.4 million, a lot to pay a backup. Deuce Lutui, whom Wells supplanted at right guard when Lutui was unsigned over the summer (newcomer Alan Faneca took Wells' left guard spot), was getting ready to take back his starting job.
Whisenhunt said Friday Rex Hadnot remains in the mix to be the other starting guard, although Lutui is expected to be the one chosen.
Whisenhunt praised Wells for being one of the players that "bought in" when he first arrived as coach.
"He was a leader, brought a presence to the huddle and our team and for that I will always be grateful," Whisenhunt said.
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