Agent says benched Edgerrin James wants Cardinals to release him, team says no

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Benched running back Edgerrin James wants the Arizona Cardinals to release him.

However, Cardinals general manager Rod Graves says the team has declined to even consider such a move.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus says he will continue to talk to the Cardinals to try to persuade them to grant James his release, saying his client is healthy, still in his prime and can still play at the highest level.

Graves says he received a call from Rosenhaus three weeks ago after James was benched in favor of rookie Tim Hightower and didn't play a down in Arizona's 34-13 victory at St. Louis.

James has three carries for 5 yards since losing his starting job.

The Cardinals are on the brink of their first division title in 33 years and they want to have James on hand should Hightower get injured.

The team's other running back -- J.J. Arrington -- is not considered an every-down player.

The 30-year-old James is in his 10th NFL season and third with Arizona.

He has topped 1,000 yards each of the past five seasons and ranks first among active players and 13th overall with 11,992 yards gained.

James has 385 yards in 111 carries this season with three touchdowns.