Adrian Wilson

Adrian Wilson Arrested On Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Charges

JULY 10: A police report indicates Wilson, upon seeing separation papers from his wife, broke a TV, a mirror and other items after barging into his wife’s bedroom at their Arizona casita,’s Josh Weinfuss adds. Wilson’s wife had hired a private investigator and learned he was having an affair, prompting the separation documents.

Wilson is also accused of choking the woman, taking a gun from a safe and threatening to kill himself, according to Weinfuss. The former Cardinals executive is not believed to have pointed the gun at anyone, driving away soon after. Arrested at 6:33am, Wilson posted bail later on June 1.

JULY 9: The Panthers announced Sunday that their Adrian Wilson partnership ended after barely a year. More information has come to light as to why the NFC South team severed ties with the veteran front office staffer.

Wilson was arrested on three domestic violence charges at 6am ET on June 1, The Athletic’s Joe Person and Doug Haller report. Police arrested Wilson at his Scottsdale, Ariz., home on charges of assault, criminal damage and disorderly conduct. All three charges are misdemeanors (subscription required). He is next due in court July 16.

A GM candidate who finished his Cardinals tenure as interim GM following Steve Keim‘s leave of absence late in 2022, Wilson served as VP of player personnel with the Panthers. Although Carolina changed GMs this offseason, Wilson’s exit appears to stem from this arrest rather than that offseason move.

When asked if the team knew about Wilson’s arrest, a Panthers spokesperson (via Person) pointed to their original statement on the matter. It would seem likely the arrest resulted in Wilson’s Carolina exit. The club had hired the former Cardinals safety-turned-exec in February 2023. Wilson, 44, is a High Point, N.C., native.

The Cardinals employed Wilson for eight years, and the longtime starting DB climbed the ranks to serve as Arizona’s VP of pro scouting by 2021. Wilson joined Quentin Harris as co-interim GMs to finish out the 2022 season and interviewed for Arizona’s GM job, but Monti Ossenfort landed the gig last year. The Jaguars were connected to Wilson for a high-ranking front office job in 2022, but that arrangement did not come to fruition. He also interviewed for the Giants’ GM job in 2022.

Panthers, Adrian Wilson Part Ways

Just last year, Adrian Wilson was on the short list of candidates to take over as the Cardinals’ permanent general manager. While he did not get the gig, he landed on his feet as the Panthers’ vice president of player personnel. After one year in that position, Wilson is again in search of a new employer.

Carolina never made a public announcement on the matter, but as a team spokesperson told Pro Football Talk this morning, “Adrian Wilson will not continue in his position as Vice President of Player Personnel for the Carolina Panthers. Consistent with our organizational policy on employee matters, we will have no further comment” (via PFT’s Mike Florio).

Of course, 2023 was hardly a banner year for the Panthers. The club’s 2-15 record was disappointing in and of itself, and the pronounced struggles of rookie quarterback Bryce Young made matters worse. Adding insult to injury was the fact that Carolina’s league-worst W-L mark would have entitled the team to the top selection in this year’s draft, but the Panthers had already traded that pick to the Bears as part of the package to acquire the No. 1 overall choice in the 2023 draft, which they used to select Young.

Given the Panthers’ forgettable season and the fact that GM Scott Fitterer was fired in January, it is not surprising that Wilson, one of Fitterer’s top lieutenants, is no longer with the team either. However, since owner David Tepper opted to replace Fitterer internally by promoting assistant GM Dan Morgan to the top job, it was reasonable to think that Wilson would remain on the staff and assist Morgan in trying to right the ship.

It is unclear whether Wilson moved on voluntarily or was dismissed. In either case, and fairly or not, Wilson’s departure will likely be seen as another failure of the Tepper regime. After all, if Wilson left on his own, it could reinforce the notion that Tepper is a difficult boss who fosters an untenable working environment; if Wilson was fired, it will add to Tepper’s reputation as an impatient and impulsive owner. As Florio wrote, “from David Tepper’s football team to his soccer team, the hinge on the swinging door never has much of a chance to get rusty.”

Wilson, a longtime Cardinals safety and five-time Pro Bowler, started working as a regional scout for Arizona in 2015. He ascended the executive ladder fairly quickly, and he and Quentin Harris ended the 2022 season sharing the Cardinals’ GM duties after Steve Keim took an indefinite leave of absence. Wilson had interviewed for the Giants’ GM post the previous offseason and was reportedly in line to take over as Jaguars GM the same year if Jacksonville had hired Byron Leftwich as their head coach.

Now 44, Wilson will surely land another high-ranking position in the near future, though his stint in Carolina stalled his upward trajectory.

Panthers Add Adrian Wilson To Front Office

Weeks after interviewing for the Cardinals’ general manager job, Adrian Wilson stood in limbo after the only organization he has worked for went with Monti Ossenfort. But the veteran staffer is relocating.

The Panthers are hiring Wilson as their vice president of player personnel, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter). Wilson finished his Cardinals tenure as their VP of pro personnel but has been with the team as a scout or personnel exec since 2015. As a player and exec, Wilson had spent 20 years with the Cardinals.

A longtime Cardinals safety, Wilson finished last season working alongside Quentin Harris atop the franchise’s front office hierarchy. The organization parted ways with longtime GM Steve Keim, despite authorizing a lengthy extension earlier in 2022, and placed Wilson and Harris as the interim front office bosses. Ossenfort has begun restructuring the front office, however, and one of Keim’s top lieutenants is on the move.

Ossenfort brought in Dave Sears as his assistant GM; Wilson will now become one of Scott Fitterer’s right-hand men. While Fitterer does not have a history with Wilson, new Panthers HC Frank Reich was on the Cardinals’ coaching staff during Wilson’s final season with the team (2012). This will also be a homecoming of sorts for Wilson, a High Point, N.C., native who played collegiately at North Carolina State.

Wilson confirmed (via Twitter) the Cardinals wanted him back as part of Ossenfort’s staff. He asked Michael Bidwill if he could pursue the Panthers job, and the owner signed off on the intra-NFC move. Wilson being under contract would have allowed the Cardinals to block the move, something the team could not have done were this a GM position.

The five-time Pro Bowler also interviewed for the other vacant GM job this offseason — Tennessee’s — but Ran Carthon secured that post. He met with the Giants last year and was on the Jaguars’ radar. Moving up the ladder, via the player personnel VP title, would stand to further the 43-year-old exec’s pursuit of a GM position.

Cardinals Hire Lions’ Dave Sears As Assistant GM

The Cardinals decided to go outside the building when choosing new general manager Monti Ossenfort‘s assistant general manager, hiring Lions director of college scouting Dave Sears, as reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network this morning. The move will be a reunion for Ossenfort and Sears who worked together for the Texans as college scouts.

Sears left Houston for Detroit in 2007 and has been with the Lions ever since working his way up from regional scout to his current role, which he’s held since 2019. Sears has been integral in the team’s draft process, serving as the intermediary between area scouts and the decision-makers of the draft.

Sears will become the No. 2 behind Ossenfort, who was hired as the Cardinals’ general manager earlier this week. The move to bring Ossenfort and Sears in from outside the building is an interesting one considering the Cardinals had two capable candidates for both positions in vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson and vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris, who served together filling the interim duties of general manager during Steve Keim‘s leave of absence.

Both Wilson and Harris interviewed for the open general manager position, and both are more than qualified for the assistant role. If the franchise is adamant on bring in new blood to the front office, it may be spelling the end for Wilson and Harris’s time in Arizona. The team had also interviewed Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham, who reportedly turned down the job after receiving an offer, according to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports echoes Glazer’s report, saying that Cunningham was Arizona’s first choice and that Cunningham declined the position because the “fit” was not right.

The Cardinals are now set moving forward with Ossenfort and Sears leading in the front office. They currently also still have Wilson and Harris in their current positions creating a strong group of top executives in the player personnel office.

2023 NFL General Manager Search Tracker

So far this offseason, only two NFL presented general manager vacancies. The Cardinals and Titans have now each made their choices. If other teams decide to make GM changes, they’ll be added to this list. Here is the current breakdown:

Updated 1-17-23 (4:27pm CT)

Arizona Cardinals

Tennessee Titans

Cardinals Request HC Interview With Steelers’ Brian Flores

After interviewing for the Browns’ defensive coordinator job, Brian Flores received his first head coaching interview request in this year’s cycle. The Cardinals want to interview the former Dolphins HC, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

Although the Cards are aiming to hire their general manager first, coaching candidates are beginning to emerge in Arizona. Flores joins Sean Payton and Vance Joseph in the mix for this job.

Just more than a year ago, Flores appeared in the clear to prepare for a fourth season as Miami’s HC. But the Dolphins fired the longtime Bill Belichick lieutenant, just after he had defeated the then-playoff-bound Patriots to close a season with a winning record. That set off a seminal chain of events, which changed Flores’ reputation and the Dolphins’ plans.

The racial discrimination lawsuit Flores filed against the NFL and some of its teams is ongoing, and while several teams (the Bears, Giants, Saints and Texans) still proceeded with HC interviews during last year’s busier HC carousel, Flores ended up taking a gig as Pittsburgh’s linebackers coach. Flores’ lawsuit also was believed to scuttle the Dolphins’ plans at bringing in Payton and Tom Brady, and Ross drew a tampering suspension. While the NFL did not punish Ross as a result of Flores’ tanking allegations, his Miami exit created quite the controversy and stripped the team of first- and third-round draft picks.

Handed one of the worst rosters in recent NFL history, Flores went 5-11 with the 2019 Dolphins and led them to winning seasons in 2020 and ’21. While Flores continued to make changes at offensive coordinator and ruffled some feathers among the organization, his Miami record (24-25) stands out among Belichick assistants. Flores took the Miami job after being Belichick’s de facto DC in 2018, a season that finished with the Patriots becoming the second team in Super Bowl history to hold an opponent (the Rams) without a touchdown. During Flores’ time in New England, he coached Cardinals GM candidate Adrian Wilson. An Achilles injury prevented Wilson from playing for the Pats in 2013, but veteran Cardinals reporter Mike Jurecki notes the former safety was impressed with the then-safeties coach (Twitter link).

Considering the Dolphins’ pursuit of Payton, it is interesting both he and Flores are on the radar for the Cardinals position. Flores, 41, never figured to stay long as a Steelers position coach. While no other teams during this year’s cycle have requested a head coaching interview with him this year, more DC interest probably figures to come his way soon.

Cardinals Request GM Interviews With Ian Cunningham, Ran Carthon, Adam Peters, Monti Ossenfort

It was announced not long after the Kliff Kingsbury firing that the Cardinals would also be in need of a new general manager. Steve Keim has permanently stepped away from the team due to health-related reasons, meaning Arizona joins Tennessee as the only NFL clubs currently in need of a new leader in their front office.

Keim took an indefinite leave of absence in December, and it was reported days later that he and the team were expected to part ways. With that move now having been made official, the franchise is currently operating with vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris and vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson filing in on an interim basis.

Each of them has already been interviewed for the full-time position, though, owner Michael Bidwill said on Monday. He added that his preference would be to have a new GM in place prior to the team’s next head coaching hire, but that the opposite order would also not be an issue (Twitter link via team reporter Darren Urban). External candidates have begun to emerge alongside Harris and Wilson.

One of those is Bears assistant GM Ian Cunningham, who has had received a formal interview request from the Cardinals, per CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones (on Twitter). He has also drawn the attention of the Titans in the early goings of their GM search, a testament to his continued rise through the ranks of various NFL front office positions during his career.

Cunningham began with the Ravens in 2013 as a scout, translating his time there into a move to Philadelphia in 2017. Over the course of his time with the Eagles, he worked his way up to the title of player personnel director. Most recently, he was hired by the Bears last January in another promotion, this time to assistant general manager.

In addition to Cunningham, the Cardinals wish to meet with Ran Carthon and Adam Peters, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets. Those two hold the titles of director of pro personnel and AGM, respectively, with the 49ers. Like Cunningham, they too have caught the eye of the Titans for their general manager vacancy. Carthon, 41, has served in his current role since 2017 after spending time in the front office with the Falcons and Rams.

Monti Ossenfort is also on the Cardinals’ radar, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Ossenfort, a longtime Patriots exec who has been with the Titans since 2020, saw the team elevate Ryan Cowden to its interim GM post in the wake of Jon Robinson‘s firing. Interviewing for GM roles in the past, Ossenfort serves as Tennessee’s director of player personnel. Given the Cowden development and the Titans’ changing of the guard, it will be interesting to see if Ossenfort remains on staff ahead of the 2023 season.

Peters, meanwhile, has been an NFL executive for two decades, beginning with the Patriots and later, the Broncos. He joined the 49ers in 2017, working his way up from VP of player personnel to the assistant GM title last year. He was a finalist for the Giants’ GM job last winter, which ultimately went to Joe Schoen.

Seeking their first GM in a decade, the Cardinals will have plenty of options to consider before making a hire. On the head coach side of the situation, quarterback Kyler Murray will be involved in the search for Kingsbury’s successor (Twitter link via Johnny Venerable of the PHNX Cardinals Podcast). That could add a interesting element to Arizona’s offseason, one which will be busy in light of today’s events.

NFC West Notes: Cards, Lance, Hawks, Akers

While nothing is certain yet, the Cardinals may be on the lookout for a new GM for the first time in 10 years. Steve Keim took a leave of absence earlier this month and, as of now, is not expected to be back. The Cardinals may be considering keeping their current setup — a dual-GM partnership between Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris — on a permanent basis, Albert Breer of notes. Arizona has promoted from within to fill its GM post the past two times it opened, elevating Rod Graves in 2003 and then Keim in 2013. Bob Ferguson (1996) represents the franchise’s past outside hire for this post.

Wilson and Harris each played safety with the Cardinals, being teammates from 2002-05, and have worked in the front office for several years. Harris, the team’s VP of player personnel, has been on staff longer — since 2008, when he became a scout — while Wilson, the VP of pro personnel, enjoyed a much longer playing career. Wilson has been a Cards staffer since 2015. Harris interviewed for the Giants’ GM gig this year; Wilson interviewed with the Jaguars. Whomever lands the Arizona GM job will have some pieces to pick up after a turbulent year, and a coaching search could commence.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • When the Seahawks acquired Drew Lock from the Broncos, the front office viewed him as the likely starter, Brady Henderson of notes. Believing they knew what they had in Geno Smith, Russell Wilson‘s backup for three seasons, the Seahawks were planning on Lock taking over. Smith’s contract — one year, $3.5MM — reflects this plan, but Pete Carroll consistently kept the former Jets second-rounder in front of Lock. While the Seahawks have faded since a surprising start, Smith made one the more unlikely Pro Bowl runs in recent QB history. The Seahawks want to re-sign him to a long-term deal.
  • Kliff Kingsbury said the Cardinals did not know about J.J. Watt‘s retirement decision beforehand. The Cardinals signed the three-time Defensive Player of the Year to a two-year, $28MM deal in 2021. Despite Watt suffering another significant injury last season, he rebounded to re-emerge as one of the league’s top D-linemen this year. Watt will pass on a chance to join a contender in free agency next year, and it appears a near-lock he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2028.
  • Colt McCoy cleared concussion protocol and will start for the Cardinals in Week 17, Darren Urban of tweets. Arizona faces Atlanta and San Francisco to close out its season. McCoy is signed to a two-year, $7.5MM deal.
  • Brock Purdy has stepped in and kept the 49ers on course. Prior to Jimmy Garoppolo‘s injury, the team was open to re-signing him. Now, the prospect of Purdy keeping the gig over Trey Lance in 2023 is starting to surface. An anonymous exec told the Washington Post’s Jason La Canfora he is growing more convinced the 49ers will trade Lance and stick with this year’s Mr. Irrelevant. With Lance on a rookie contract through 2024, that would be a wild call — even given Purdy’s early form. But teams would figure to be interested in the former No. 3 overall pick — even if he has only played one full season in his five since high school.
  • Although the Rams tried to trade Cam Akers, they have turned back to him as their top running back. They should be expected to retain him in 2023, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Akers’ career path changed when he tore an Achilles’ tendon in July 2021, but he totaled 147 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns Sunday. Next season will be a contract year for the former second-round pick.
  • Weeks after the Cardinals fired their offensive line coach, Sean Kugler, the dismissed assistant said he did not grope a female security guard in Mexico. Kugler is taking legal action against the Cardinals, whom he contends did not conduct a thorough investigation. The team released a statement (via’s Ian Rapoport, on Twitter) conveying confidence the firing was for cause. Kugler worked for the Cardinals from 2019 until his November firing.

Cardinals Likely To Part Ways With GM Steve Keim

The Cardinals are expected to part ways with longtime GM Steve Keim this offseason, as Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports reports. Keim recently took an indefinite leave of absence from the team due to an undisclosed health-related matter.

Vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris and vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson are presently sharing Keim’s duties on an interim basis, and Jones says both men are legitimate candidates to be promoted to general manager this offseason. Harris enjoyed a six-year playing career that began in Arizona before becoming a Cardinals scout in 2008, and he has been working his way up the personnel ladder ever since. Wilson left more of an on-field legacy, as he played in the NFL for 13 seasons — 12 as a member of the Cardinals — and earned five Pro Bowl nods during that time.

Wilson, 43, was inducted into Arizona’s Ring of Honor in 2015, the same year he began working for the team as a regional scout. His ascent has been more rapid than that of the 45-year-old Harris, though it appears both execs will have a chance to lead a club’s front office sooner rather than later. The Giants interviewed Wilson and Harris during their GM search earlier this year, and it was reported that the Jaguars nearly hired Wilson as general manager.

While Wilson and Harris are well-respected around the league, Jones’ sources wonder if Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill will choose to look outside the organization to replace Keim. Since Buddy Ryan left his post as Arizona’s head coach/general manager in 1995, the club’s next three GMs — Bob Ferguson, Rod Graves, and Keim — have all been promoted from within.

Of course, Bidwill could also be looking for a new head coach this offseason. Kliff Kingsbury, who was hired in 2019, has compiled a 28-33-1 record to date, and a report detailing his uncertain job security surfaced last month. While some of the factors that have played a role in the Cardinals’ 2022 struggles are beyond Kingsbury’s control — WR DeAndre Hopkins‘ six-game PED ban, QB Kyler Murray‘s ACL tear, etc. — his play-calling and game-planning have been frequently criticized. Bidwill would have to eat a great deal of money by cutting ties with Keim and Kingsbury, as he elected to hand both men thru-2027 extensions back in March, but he may feel he has no other choice.

Some good news for Cardinals fans is that Murray’s ACL tear is a clean one, as Ian Rapoport of reports. Murray is expected to begin training camp on the PUP list and will have a realistic chance of taking the field for the 2023 regular season opener.

Cardinals GM Steve Keim Taking Indefinite Leave Of Absence

A season of tumult and adversity continues for the Cardinals this year as the team announced that general manager Steve Keim would be taking an indefinite leave of absence. Arizona’s announcement detailed that the absence is health-related, but due to legally required privacy, the team “will refrain from commenting further.”

After a short career as an offensive lineman in the NFL and CFL, Keim quickly found his course in personnel. Keim joined the Cardinals’ scouting department as a regional scout in 1999 and has worked his way up the ladder, remaining with Arizona for 23 years, serving the last 10 of which as general manager.

During Keim’s tenure with the franchise, the Cardinals have booked a Super Bowl appearance, played in two NFC championship games, and secured five postseason berths. Keim took over a 5-11 Cardinals team in 2012 as GM, quickly helping to turn the team around to a 10-6 record in his first season at the helm, just missing the playoffs in a competitive NFC. They would make the playoffs the following year and lose to the Panthers in the NFC championship the year after that.

The hurdle of Keim’s absence adds to a season that started with a suspension for star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins and has weathered the slump of quarterback Kyler Murray‘s fourth year that ended with a season-ending ACL tear. The team’s staff has experienced its own setbacks, as well. Formerly the Cardinals co-pass game coordinator with Cam Turner, Spencer Whipple has been serving as the team’s third running backs coach of the season following the administrative leave of James Saxon to deal with personal legal matters and the departure of his replacement, Don Shumpert, who left to pursue other opportunities. Former offensive assistant Mike Bercovici was promoted weeks ago to tight ends coach when Steve Heiden, the team’s longest-tenured assistant coach, was asked to coach the offensive line following the dismissal of Sean Kugler for a sexual harassment incident that occurred during the Cardinals’ trip to Mexico City.

This is not even Keim’s first leave of absence from the team. Keim received a five-game suspension back in 2018 after pleading guilty to extreme DUI charges. This is his first reported absence since that incident, though.

In Keim’s absence, the team will turn to vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris and vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson to fill his role on an interim basis. Harris was a defensive back for the team back in the early 2000s and has been a member of Arizona’s scouting/personnel staff since 2008. This is his second year in his current position. Wilson was a long-time star safety for the Cardinals from 2001-12, earning multiple Pro Bowl appearances and a first-team All-Pro selection. Like Harris, Wilson joined the Cardinals as a regional scout shortly after his retirement as a player and quickly rose through the ranks. He is also in the second year in his current position.

The two will take over a 4-9 Cardinals team on the brink of postseason elimination. With no word on how long Keim will be away from the team, Harris and Wilson will not only be focused on maintaining the roster for the rest of the year but also preparing for the personnel-related tasks that will immediately follow the season like the draft and free agency.