Steve Keim

Steve Wilks Testifies That Cardinals Supplied Him With Burner Phone

Per ESPN’s Tisha Thompson, 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks was recently deposed as part of the arbitration claim that former Cardinals executive Terry McDonough filed against the Cardinals and owner Michael Bidwill. Wilks testified that, when he was Arizona’s head coach in 2018, the team — pursuant to orders from Bidwill and then-GM Steve Keim — gave him a burner phone in order to communicate with Keim during Keim’s suspension for extreme DUI.

“It was a directive from Keim as well as Bidwill,” Wilks said. “They both knew.”

Wilks went on to say that several top members of the club’s power structure were furnished with phones and instructions on how to use them. He testified that Keim had multiple phones, and that Bidwill and other execs communicated with Keim during the club’s contract negotiations with running back David Johnson. For his part, Wilks says that he used his burner phone only once, when Keim texted him to ask how things were going at practice.

Wilks’ testimony supports McDonough’s complaint, which alleges (among other things) that Bidwill sabotaged his former exec’s career in retaliation for McDonough’s objection to the plan to illegally communicate with Keim. As we detailed in April, the NFL would be forced to suspend Bidwill if it becomes clear that he engaged in the burner phone scheme. And, if some of McDonough’s other allegations are substantiated — for instance, he accuses Bidwill of treating a Black employee and two pregnant women poorly and creating “an environment of fear for minority employees” — Bidwill could face more significant repercussions. Indeed, McDonough argues that Bidwill’s conduct is “significantly worse” than that of Robert Sarver, the former owner of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns who was suspended by the NBA for a year and fined $10MM before ultimately selling the team.

Some addditional context is necessary here. As we also wrote in April, statements made by Cardinals PR consultant Jim McCarthy in response to McDonough’s claim may have created additional causes of action for McDonough that would allow him to take his fight to the public forum of a courthouse as opposed to the more sheltered arbitration setting, but it does not appear as if he has attempted to do so (at least not with respect to his claims against Bidwill and the Cardinals). His complaint remains in arbitration, which is conducted by an NFL-appointed arbitrator and generally weighted in the team’s favor.

Additionally, Wilks’ attorney did not permit cross-examination during his deposition, which was therefore not admitted into the record (though arbitrator Jeffrey Mishkin elected to keep the video and transcript of the deposition rather than destroy it, as Cardinals attorneys requested).

“As much as we would like to share the truth of what transpired, the confidentiality order in place prohibits us from doing so,” the Cardinals said in a statement to ESPN.

It is also worth noting that Wilks is a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit alleging racial discrimination originally filed by former Dolphins head coach and current Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores. In that action, Wilks makes an allegation that could be a reference to the burner phone caper and further avers that he was wrongfully terminated after his one season as the Cardinals’ HC.

Wilks’ deposition testimony is, of course, consistent with the assertions he makes in his lawsuit. He said he did not want to communicate with Keim during the GM’s suspension, but as a first-year Black coach, he did not feel comfortable voicing his concerns to Bidwill directly. Instead, he asked McDonough to speak to Bidwill on his behalf, and he witnessed a “heated conversation” between McDonough and Bidwill shortly thereafter. From that point forward, Wilks says, the owner’s demeanor towards him changed.

Wilks also testified that, during his tenure as HC, Bidwill berated him multiple times. One such incident, he says, took place over speakerphone while Wilks was driving home with his nine-year-old son after a game. He added that Bidwill berated a scout who is Black for parking in the owner’s parking space.

The entire ESPN piece is well-worth a read for all NFL fans, and is naturally of particular interest to Cardinals supporters.

Teams View DeAndre Hopkins As Cut Candidate?

The countdown to this year’s draft continues, but a number of veteran playmakers are still available via free agency or trade. The latter route is thought to be necessary for a team to acquire Cardinals wideout DeAndre Hopkins, though that may not be the case relatively soon.

Hopkins has a $19.45MM base salary and, more importantly, a $29.99MM cap hit for the 2023 season. One more year exists after that on his current pact, though it is widely expected that the five-time Pro Bowler will agree to an extension upon arrival with an acquiring team. He recently hired an agent, and is open to the idea of a financial adjustment if it helps pave the way for a deal sending him to a contender.

No suitors have emerged that are willing to meet the Cardinals’ asking price, however. Arizona – now led by general manager Monti Ossenfort – is seeking a second-round pick and some other draft capital to move Hopkins, 30. To no surprise, his contract is holding up trade talks, to the point where some teams looking to add him are becoming convinced he will be released, reports SI’s Albert Breer. Cutting Hopkins before June 1 would create over $21MM in dead money for the Cardinals, just as a trade would.

Dealing or releasing the three-time All-Pro after that date, though, would yield nearly $19.5MM in cap savings. This month’s draft represents a logical turning point with respect to a trade market taking shape, as teams eyeing WR additions could fail to land an impact rookie. In that case, teams linked to Hopkins like the Chiefs, Bills and Ravens could circle back to see if he could be had at a discounted trade price.

While the decision will ultimately fall to Ossenfort, his predecessor made his thoughts clear on the matter. During a recent appearance on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast, Steve Keim alluded to Hopkins’ contract as the obstacle holding up a deal, adding that he feels the Cardinals may end up being undersold on the former Texans first-rounder.

“They’re probably going to have to come to understand that they’re probably not going to get as much as they would if he was a younger player or his contract was considerably lower, where you could get him for a second-round [pick],” Keim said. “It could end up being a second- or third-day draft pick to really get it done. Probably [need to] get a new deal done” (h/t

Missed time in recent years represents another factor which could hinder Hopkins’ value. When on the field last year, though, he averaged just under 80 receiving yards per game, meaning he would likely remain productive on his new team. Other veterans (such as free agent Odell Beckham Jr. and trade targets Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy) are also in place as other options for receiver-needy teams. Once a contractual solution is in place, however, Hopkins could quickly find himself on the move.

Cardinals’ Terry McDonough Accuses Michael Bidwill Of Cheating, Gross Misconduct

Cardinals executive Terry McDonough filed an arbitration claim against Michael Bidwill, accusing the owner of cheating and gross misconduct. McDonough’s filing claims the owner sabotaged his career in retaliation for an objection to support a plan to illegally communicate with then-suspended GM Steve Keim, Adam Schefter of reports.

A former GM candidate, McDonough accuses Bidwill of hatching a scheme in which McDonough and then-head coach Steve Wilks would communicate with Keim using burner phones during the GM’s team-imposed suspension in 2018. The Cards suspended Keim after his extreme DUI arrest that year. McDonough’s claim indicates he and Wilks objected to Bidwill’s plan. Upon voicing concerns about the alleged plan, McDonough said Bidwill wrote him up for insubordination and later followed through with a demotion. The demotion occurred in 2019, according to Stewart Mandel, Kalyn Kahler and Mike Sando of The Athletic (subscription required).

A Cardinals exec for the past 10 years, McDonough was a finalist for the 49ers’ GM job that ended up going to John Lynch in 2017. He has hovered off the radar since but has been an NFL staffer for more than 30 years. The claim also accuses Bidwill of sabotaging Wilks’ first HC opportunity — which ended after one season, a 3-13 year in 2018 — and berating McDonough since he came forward with objections to the 2018 plan. Wilks, whom the Cardinals replaced with Kliff Kingsbury in 2019, joined Brian Floresclass-action discrimination lawsuit last year. Wilks alleged the Cardinals gave him little chance to succeed and “unfairly and discriminatorily” fired him at the end of the ’18 season.

The Cardinals, who have since replaced Keim after 10 seasons in the GM chair, have denied McDonough’s claims, calling them “outlandish.” McDonough is seeking damages for breach of contract and emotional distress.

Keim’s suspension, which ran from July to August of 2018, prevented him from communication with Cardinals personnel. The filing indicates McDonough and Wilks voiced objections to the plan July 23, 2018. McDonough and Wilks followed through with Bidwill’s alleged scheme and used the burner phones to talk with Keim. McDonough is still in possession of the burner phone, according to his claim, which includes a picture of the device.

Once the Cardinals’ VP of player personnel, McDonough is listed on the Cardinals’ website as a senior personnel executive. McDonough informed Bidwill in 2019 he recorded phone conversations between he and Keim during the GM’s suspension, according to The Athletic. The demotion to senior personnel executive, per the claim, occurred shortly after McDonough’s text to Bidwill regarding the Keim recordings. The demotion cut McDonough’s salary from $550K to $330K. In 2022, McDonough said he was demoted again — from seventh to ninth in command. The Cards had extended him back in 2017, but this relationship has gone south since.

When Keim took a leave of absence last year — a hiatus that led to his permanent departure from the team — Bidwill installed execs Quentin Harris and Adrian Wilson as front office bosses in the interim. McDonough has alleged his refusal to go along with Bidwill’s plan led to career advancement opportunities disappearing. McDonough has not interviewed for a GM position since 2017; the claim also indicates Bidwill “bullied, belittled and criticized” McDonough in front of coaches and scouts during two meetings.

Regarding the phone scheme, the Cardinals denied Bidwill orchestrated it. The team said, via Schefter, another Cards exec “interfered with the protocol of that suspension” and credits the owner of directing the phones be retrieved and all communication with Keim stopped. McDonough’s filing also accuses Bidwill of treating a Black employee and two pregnant women poorly and creating “an environment of fear for minority employees.” Denying this claim as well, the Cardinals labeled it “a transparent smear that is truly beneath contempt.”

Under league rules, the Cardinals have 20 days to respond to McDonough’s filing. The NFL will handle the matter through its arbitration policy, per The Athletic. McDonough has been in the NFL since interning with the 49ers in 1989. He is the son of famed reporter Will McDonough, brother of ESPN play-by-play man Sean McDonough and former Phoenix Suns GM Ryan McDonough.

Cardinals Fire HC Kliff Kingsbury; GM Steve Keim Will Not Return

Another expected move has taken place to add to the league’s number of head coaching vacancies. The Cardinals have fired Kliff Kingsbury, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Ian Rapoport of NFL Network adds that general manager Steve Keim will also not be returning (Twitter link). A team announcement confirms that Keim has stepped away to focus on his health.

The 43-year-old was the subject of increasing speculation during the season that a change would be coming. That, in its own regard, was something of a surprise considering the long-term extensions he and Keim signed this past offseason. However, as the 2022 campaign progressed, signs increasingly pointed to a parting of ways.

Kingsbury established himself as a quarterback guru during his time in college. That span included work with, among others, Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes. Still, eyebrows were raised at the Cardinals’ decision to hire him in 2019 given his overall record of 35-40 at Texas Tech. The move signalled an all-in approach on Arizona’s part with Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray.

From a big-picture perspective, the first three seasons of Kingsbury’s tenure could be categorized as generally successful. The Cardinals showed improvement from 5-10-1 to 8-8 across their first two years with him at the helm, though the latter campaign did not result in a postseason appearance. In 2021, Arizona got off to a hot start, posting a 10-2 record early on in a season where Murray found himself in the MVP conversation. As had been the case the year prior, however, the team nosedived down the stretch and ended up 11-6. The season came to an underwhelming end with a blowout loss in the Wild Card round.

Another playoff appearance was expected given the faith shown by the organization to Keim, Kingsbury and (by virtue of his own monster extension) Murray. Instead, nothing has gone according to plan in the desert, with the team struggling at all times to find consistency on offense. Injuries and suspensions in the receiving corps are partially to blame, of course, but Kingsbury drew increasing criticism for his inability to put together consecutive weeks of good showings on offense or defense.

A rift was reported to be growing between Kingsbury and Murray, something which fueled the fire of this dismissal taking place. Overall, the Cardinals finished the year with a 4-13 record, marking their first regression in the win-loss column during Kingsbury’s time. Murray’s ACL tear certainly hurt the team’s late-season prospects, but his return in 2023 with a new voice on the sidelines and in the front office will not be considered a surprise given everything which has transpired over the course of the past few months.

Indeed, it was reported to be an “open secret” last week that Kingsbury would be on his way out upon the conclusion of the regular season. As for Keim, his departure seemed to be confirmed in December after his decision to take an indefinite leave of absence for health-related reasons. His tenure as GM began in 2013, and included an 80-80-2 record and three playoff appearances.

Both he and Kingsbury will now be on the books as the team looks for their respective replacements. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was named as a candidate to take on the HC role in the event Kingsbury was let go, despite the team’s struggles on that side of the ball during his time in Arizona. In any event, Kingsbury will head into the 2023 coaching market with uncertain prospects given his inability to close out seasons across the previous two years, as well as the disastrous performance of his team in 2022. Keim’s future is likewise in the air considering his health status and underwhelming track record at the head of the team’s front office.

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.

NFC West Notes: Cards, Purdy, Rams, Hawks

The Cardinals will be without their 10th-year GM going forward. Steve Keim stepped away from his post for the time being, and Ian Rapoport of notes this health-related matter has been on the radar for months (video link). Keim’s future with the Cardinals is “up in the air,” Rapoport adds. This news comes months after Keim agreed to an extension that runs through 2027. Both Keim and Kliff Kingsbury signed add-ons this offseason, though the latter has also run into some turbulence. With Keim stepping away, Kyler Murray going down with an ACL tear and Kingsbury on the hot seat, this has been one of the more disappointing seasons in recent Cardinals history.

Here is the latest from Arizona and the rest of the NFC West:

  • Brock Purdy was not throwing during the 49ers‘ Tuesday practice, but the new San Francisco starter is expected to play through his rib and oblique injuries against the Seahawks tonight, Adam Schefter of tweets. Purdy stayed in Sunday’s game despite suffering those injuries. The 49ers, who have lost both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo to major injuries this season, have journeyman Josh Johnson — recently signed off the Broncos’ practice squad — in place as their backup. Purdy and Johnson are the only two healthy QBs on San Francisco’s 53-man roster. Garoppolo remains on the active roster, for IR-management purposes, but is unlikely to return this season.
  • Shifting back to the Cardinals‘ quarterback situation, Murray is not slated to have surgery until after Christmas, Darren Urban of tweets. This is common for ACL surgeries, with the delay helping the swelling subside. Saquon Barkley ended up waiting over a month to have his ACL surgery in 2020 and was ready in time for the 2021 season. Week 1 will obviously be Murray’s goal, but given the through-2028 extension the Cardinals gave Murray this offseason, it would not surprise to see the organization play this cautionsly.
  • Thought to be leaving for Matt Rhule‘s Nebraska staff, Rams assistant Jake Peetz is staying in Los Angeles. Peetz turned down an offer to head to Lincoln, Albert Breer of tweets. Currently a Rams offensive assistant, Peetz was believed to have been offered the Nebraska quarterbacks coach job. He was the Panthers’ QBs coach under Rhule in 2020 and is a Nebraska native who played for the Cornhuskers during the 2000s. With Rams OC Liam Coen leaving to be Kentucky’s OC soon, it would not surprise to see Peetz rise on Sean McVay‘s staff.
  • The Rams will, however, lose their running backs coach — Ra’Shaad Samples — to the college ranks. Samples is heading to Arizona State to become the Pac-12 program’s wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator, per Matt Zenitz of On3Sports. This season marked Samples’ first in the NFL. Impressively rising to the level of an NFL position coach at just 27, Samples will return to the college ranks. He was previously SMU’s running backs coach before heading to L.A. Samples also drew coordinator interest at the college level, Zenitz adds.
  • McVay’s staff has seen a run of connections to the college level in recent weeks. Prior to Arizona State and Georgia Tech hiring Kenny Dillingham and Brent Key, respectively, the schools were interested in Rams assistants. Tight ends coach Thomas Brown drew interest from the Sun Devils, according to’s Jeremy Fowler, who adds defensive line coach Eric Henderson was on the Yellowjackets’ radar. A Georgia Tech alum, Henderson, 39, has been with the Rams since 2019. Brown, 36, has been with the team since 2020, joining the Rams after 10 seasons as a college staffer. The latter has generated praise as a rising NFL assistant, so the Rams retaining him is critical.
  • The Rams used their high waiver position to claim former Titans defensive lineman Larrell Murchison, but Field Yates of notes the Seahawks and Lions also made claims (Twitter link). Murchison’s rookie contract runs through the 2023 season; the Rams will have a chance to evaluate the former fifth-round pick.

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.

The NFL’s Longest-Tenured GMs

Wednesday, we took a look at how the 2022 offseason changed the HC landscape. While 10 new sideline leaders are in place for 2022, not quite as much turnover transpired on the general manager front. Five new decision-makers, however, have moved to the top of teams’ front office hierarchies over the past six months.

The Bears, Giants, Raiders and Vikings rebooted their entire operations, hiring new HC-GM combos. The Minnesota move bumped out one of the previous top-10 longest-tenured GMs, with 16-year Vikings exec Rick Spielman no longer in power in the Twin Cities. The Steelers’ shakeup took the NFL’s longest-tenured pure GM out of the mix. Kevin Colbert was with the Steelers since 2000, and although he is still expected to remain with the team in a reduced capacity, the 22-year decision-maker stepped down shortly after Ben Roethlisberger wrapped his career.

Twelve teams have now hired a new GM in the past two offseasons, though a bit more staying power exists here compared to the HC ranks. Two GMs (the Cardinals’ Steve Keim and Chargers’ Tom Telesco) have begun their 10th years at the helms of their respective front offices. They have hired three HCs apiece. The Buccaneers’ Jason Licht is closing in on a decade in power in Tampa Bay; Licht will now work with his fourth HC in Todd Bowles. Beyond that, a bit of a gap exists. But a handful of other executives have been in power for at least five seasons.

Here is how long every GM or de facto GM has been in place with his respective franchise:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  5. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010; signed extension in 2021
  6. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010; signed extension in 2022
  7. Les Snead (Los Angeles Rams): February 10, 2012; signed extension in 2019
  8. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013; signed extension in 2022
  9. Tom Telesco (Los Angeles Chargers): January 9, 2013; signed extension in 2018
  10. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014; signed extension in 2021
  11. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016[4]
  12. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016; signed extension in 2022
  13. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  14. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017; signed extension in 2021
  15. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  16. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017; signed extension in 2020
  17. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  18. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019
  19. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  20. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  21. Nick Caserio (Houston Texans): January 5, 2021
  22. George Paton (Denver Broncos): January 13, 2021
  23. Scott Fitterer (Carolina Panthers): January 14, 2021
  24. Brad Holmes (Detroit Lions): January 14, 2021
  25. Terry Fontenot (Atlanta Falcons): January 19, 2021
  26. Trent Baalke (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 21, 2021
  27. Martin Mayhew (Washington Commanders): January 22, 2021
  28. Joe Schoen (New York Giants): January 21, 2022
  29. Ryan Poles (Chicago Bears): January 25, 2022
  30. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (Minnesota Vikings): January 26, 2022
  31. Dave Ziegler (Las Vegas Raiders): January 30, 2022
  32. Omar Khan (Pittsburgh Steelers): May 24, 2022


  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Although Grier was hired in 2016, he became the Dolphins’ top football exec on Dec. 31, 2018

Cardinals Extend Kliff Kingsbury, Steve Keim

The Cardinals have agreed to brand new deals with head coach Kliff Kingsbury and GM Steve Keim (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport). Per the team’s official announcement Keim and Kingsbury are now signed through the 2027 season. 

[RELATED: Latest On Cardinals, Murray]

The leadership of both Steve and Kliff have been key factors in the team’s turnaround over the last three seasons,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said. “We are all looking forward to continuing that progress and recognize these two individuals will be a big part of achieving our long-term goals as an organization.”

Under their leadership, the Cardinals reached the postseason for the first time since 2015. Of course, it wasn’t all roses in 2021 either. The Cardinals went 9-2 in the first eleven games of the season, but went on to lose five of its final seven contests, including the playoffs. For what it’s worth, Kingsbury’s collegiate and pro teams have gone a combined 42-20-1 record in the first seven games of a season, and 17-45 from Game 8 onward.

For his part, Bidwill believes that DeAndre Hopkins‘ late-season absence played a huge role in the Cardinals’ collapse.

I think [the struggles are] a combination of things, certainly (Hopkins’) impact on the field and off the field is huge,” Bidwill said (via Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network). “And losing him from not only a football Xs and Os standpoint, but also from an emotional standpoint was big.”

Now, the Cardinals can turn their attention to other offseason matters, including the future of quarterback Kyler Murray. The former No. 1 overall pick missed three games due to a high ankle sprain and didn’t look the same afterwards. Then came the playoff game against the Rams, his worst showing of the season.

“The window has just opened for a contract extension. Certainly he’s part of our long-term plan,” Bidwill said recently. “Most of the big ones are done further down the road, I think Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen were done in the summer time. Others were done in the summer time. So we’ve got time, but they’re complicated.”

Cardinals GM Steve Keim On FAs, McCoy, Kingsbury

The 9-2 Cardinals are legitimate Super Bowl contenders, and a great deal of their success this season can be attributed to players ticketed for free agency in 2022. That includes running backs Chase Edmonds and James Conner, wide receivers A.J. Green and Christian Kirk, tight end Zach Ertz, outside linebacker Chandler Jones, and quarterback Colt McCoy.

Although the club is obviously focused on making a championship run right now, GM Steve Keim will be tasked with making sure Arizona’s window of contention doesn’t close after one year. However, it does not sound as though there will be any extensions between now and the end of the season.

In speaking about the difficulty of striking an in-season extension, Keim, during a recent appearance on 98.7 KMVP, said that such a move is possible, “[i]f we identify the guys we see as core players, and there are a lot of them with the success we’ve had, but it really is tough. A lot of times, guys want to test the market or it’s just not the appropriate time because they are so focused on football” (via Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official website).

Keim added, “[t]here are so many moving parts to it, but there are a lot of guys we want to re-sign and make sure they remain Cardinals.”

One such player is McCoy, who has performed well this year in relief of the injured Kyler Murray. The Cards have gone 2-1 in McCoy’s three starts, thereby managing to stay atop the NFC standings, and the 31-year-old has completed over 75% of his passes for three TDs and one pick. Keim said that it is “highly important” to keep McCoy in the fold.

Meanwhile, head coach Kliff Kingsbury attracted the attention of the University of Oklahoma, and while the blue-blood collegiate program has now gone in a different direction, Keim knows what he has in Kingsbury.

“To me, it’s a compliment to our organization,” Keim said of OU’s interest in his head coach. “The guy has done a tremendous job. He and our organization have grown together. We’re really excited about the future when you look at the work he’s put in, the improvements he’s made, the improvements we’ve made with the roster.”

Urban says that, just as the Cardinals do not anticipate new deals for their top FAs before the end of the 2021 campaign, they are not presently working on an extension for Kingsbury. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears that a Kingsbury extension is a major offseason priority, and that the 42-year-old may end up with a salary near the top of the head coaching pay scale.