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 NFL.com 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.