TEMPE – Running back Chris “Beanie” Wells shrugged off concerns about his durability that apparently caused him to fall to the No. 31 pick in the NFL draft.
“I missed three games in three years,” he said, “so I don’t understand the durability question. I played the whole 2007 season with a broken wrist.”
Wells came to Arizona Cardinals headquarters Thursday to show off his new No. 26 jersey and pronounced himself more than ready to join one of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL.
“I’ve never been a part of a football team where I’ve had such a great quarterback and so many great wide receivers,” he said. “I’ve always been a part of a team where the box was getting stacked with eight, nine men. It’s exciting to be part of an organization where I’m not going to be the focal part of the offense.”
He said he had receiving skills that were not apparent at run-oriented Ohio State.
“I played running back but I’m a pretty good wide receiver and can catch the ball pretty good,” Wells said. He also was confident he could block for Kurt Warner, who sent him a message moments after Saturday’s draft welcoming him to the team.
With the release of Edgerrin James on Tuesday, the Cardinals will rely on the one-two punch of second-year pro Tim Hightower and Wells to bolster what was the worst ground game in the league last season.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt said Wells’ ability to play despite injuries was one reason he was so attractive as a first-round pick.
“That’s something we’ll see as time goes on,” Whisenhunt said, “but I said after we drafted him that one of the things I liked about him was his toughness. He had some injuries, but he played through them. To me that’s what the NFL is all about.”
Broncos release Young
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – The Denver Broncos’ crowded backfield has become a bit clearer with the release of third-year tailback Selvin Young.
The Broncos released Young on Thursday.
They used the 12th overall pick in last weekend’s draft to take Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno, and will have a half-dozen tailbacks competing for playing time.
The Broncos also have holdovers Peyton Hillis and Ryan Torian and free agents J.J. Arrington, Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan.
Patriots trade for TE
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots have obtained tight end Alex Smith from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Patriots gave up an undisclosed pick in next year’s NFL draft for the four-year veteran, who was drafted by the Buccaneers in the third round in 2005.
Smith had 129 receptions for 1,252 yards and 11 touchdowns in 58 games. He started 12 of the 14 games he played last year, catching 21 passes.