Arizona’s divorce with running back Edgerrin James is coming no later than after this season. But James would like it done even sooner.
Two weeks ago, shortly after he had been benched, James privately asked the Cardinals to release him. The Cardinals rebuffed James’ request, and now the running back is making his stance known publicly.
“He’s not looking to create controversy, he’s not trying to disrupt chemistry, he’s happy to see their success,” said James’ agent, Drew Rosenhaus. “But he wants to play. He doesn’t understand why he was demoted and taken out of the offense.
“He would rather go someplace else and help someone else than stand around on the bench. We’re very eager to get back on the field and play because Edgerrin was on his way to a third straight 1,000-yard season. He’s not unhealthy. He hasn’t lost any of his skills. He just doesn’t want to wait until next year to show everyone he can play. He wants to do it now.”
Problem is, it is after the trade deadline and Arizona cannot deal James. Nor has it shown a willingness to release him; James is added depth in a backfield that now features rookie running back Tim Hightower.
If Arizona declines to honor James’ request, the two will part ways after this season. James is scheduled to make $5 million in base salary next year. It is impossible to imagine the Cardinals paying James that much. They won’t. But James would like to find a team to pay and play him now. He’d rather not wait until the offseason to do it — and he’s making it known.