The Arizona Cardinals are said to be moving on from their GM Steve Keim. The top candidates for the job are Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris.
The Arizona Cardinals are expected to “part ways with Steve Keim” this offseason, per @jjones9.
— Johnny Venerable (@JohnnyVenerable) December 18, 2022
Arizona Cardinals Expected to Part Ways with GM Steve Keim
The rumors around Keim’s future have been swirling due to the Cardinals’ poor season. Arizona has been eliminated from the playoff race and looks like a shell of their 2021 selves.
The news that Keim will be replaced comes after he has taken an indefinite leave from the team for ‘health’ reasons. The timing seems suspect, however, with many calling for his firing even before he left the team. In his absence, Wilson and Harris have been taking interim duties.
Keim was named Arizona’s GM in 2013 as an in-house promotion. He saw some good years with Bruce Arians and seemed to be building a promising team with Kliff Kingsbury. However, the 2022 season has been a massive disappointment.
With the Cardinals underwhelming this season, they are expected to part ways with Keim.
Keim and Arizona’s Drama
Keim’s indefinite leave and impending exit is the pinnacle of Arizona’s off-field drama this season. They fired their running back coach and offensive line coach this season due to off-field situations. They also had the off-season saga with Kyler Murray’s contract, Rodney Hudson’s retirement, and Hollywood Brown’s speeding incident. J.J. Watt also had various personal health-related matters and DeAndre Hopkins missed the first half of the season through suspension.
There is no doubt that the drama has derailed the Cardinals season. This has especially been the case with Hard Knocks on the scene, capturing it all unfold.
However, Keim’s leave certainly tops the list. It is believed that the 50-year-old’s indefinite leave only comes as the Cardinals are expected to part ways with Keim anyway.
Keim’s Poor Roster Building Takes its Toll in 2022
Keim’s thin roster is certainly at fault for Arizona’s disappointing 2022. The Cardinals had a dormant off-season with regard to new signings. It is believed that Keim and his front office were of the opinion that the remnants of the 2021 roster would be able to work their magic. It meant that the team lost the likes of Chandler Jones, Chase Edmonds, Christian Kirk, and Robert Alford, who all played big parts in 2021. They were replaced by rookies, mostly.
Many have also been critical of Keim’s record in the NFL Draft. The long-time Cardinals GM has found some studs such as Budda Baker, Tyrann Mathieu, Kyler Murray, and Byron Murphy, among others. However, there have also been many duds. Players such as Andy Isabella, Mason Cole, Robert Nkemdiche, and Jonathan Cooper failed to make any positive impact on the team. His ‘best player available’ approach has also been criticized, with roster holes not being filled. The team’s two most recent first-rounders were linebackers, despite having bigger needs elsewhere on the team.
The team’s lack of depth has truly been exposed this season due to the sheer number of injuries. Kyler Murray headlines the team’s injury report with a torn ACL, but the team has also seen Will Hernandez, Marquise Brown, Rondale Moore, James Conner, D.J. Humphries, Justin Pugh, Rodney Hudson, Zach Ertz, Zach Allen, Byron Murphy, Marco Wilson, and Budda Baker all miss significant game time at some point during the season.
The ineffective drafting of late and lack of movement in free agency has meant that the Cardinals have relied on practice squad caliber players to contribute frequently. Thus, it is no surprise that the Cardinals are expected to part ways with Keim.
Who to Replace Keim?
With the Cardinals expected to part ways with Keim, some replacements are probably lined up. It is believed that one of Wilson or Harris is the likeliest to take over. An in-house replacement would make sense given that was how Keim also got his job in 2013.
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) December 14, 2022
Many have said that an external appointment would be best, however. Arizona’s extensive drama suggests a shift in culture is needed. One way to do this would be to bring in a new front office.
Another argument for an external appointment is Keim’s lack of success. Given that both Wilson and Harris are from Keim’s management tree, appointing either of them could be seen as a continuation of Keim’s tenure.
It is unclear whether Kingsbury’s job is also in danger. If Keim is gone, it could suggest an overhaul of the entire coaching staff too. Although that may not necessarily happen.