After four seasons, a disappointing 2022 has forced the Arizona Cardinals to part ways with Kliff Kingsbury, their head coach. The expectations for 2022 were high for the Cardinals but the team vastly underperformed. They now hold a top 2023 NFL Draft selection. Kingsbury has been on the hot seat throughout the season. Rumors of the team parting ways with him were pertinent throughout. They were heightened when it was revealed that GM Steve Keim took indefinite leave from the team for health reasons.
Sources: The Arizona Cardinals fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who 10 months ago signed a contract extension through the 2027 season.
The Cardinals still never have had a head coach – any head coach – last longer than six years while the team has existed for over 100 years. pic.twitter.com/kYWb1AfjIG
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 9, 2023
Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury Part Ways
News of Kingsbury’s departure comes as the Cardinals have looked like one of the NFL’s worst sides throughout the 2022 season. Injuries certainly played a part, but the former head coach’s role in Arizona’s downfall this season is undeniable.
The Cardinals appointed Kingsbury in 2019, bringing in a new era. The appointment was controversial from the start. Having found little success in college football, many believed that Kingsbury would be unable to win games at the NFL level.
To accompany Kingsbury, Keim drafted Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft despite trading up to draft Josh Rosen in the first round in 2018. The beginning of Kingsbury’s era looked promising. They improved every season (2019, 2020, and 2021) before a steep drop-off in 2022. They also made the playoffs in 2021 after a blistering 7-0 start to the season but were pummelled by the Los Angeles Rams in the first round. Kingsbury’s steady improvement led to a five-year extension last off-season. Ultimately, Kingsbury ends his Cardinals tenure with just one winning season in four years as head coach.
There are many good candidates to replace Kingsbury in Arizona. Whoever takes the job has a tough task ahead though. Murray’s huge extension last year means that he will stay put and continue to be Arizona’s franchise quarterback. The rest of the roster will see wholesale changes, however.