CARDINALS

Fire Steve Keim? Arizona Cardinals GM on list of NFL general managers who could be fired

Jeremy Cluff
Arizona Republic
Is Steve Keim's seat as the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals getting hot?

A lot has been made about head coach Kliff Kingsbury's job security with the Arizona Cardinals amid his team's disappointing 4-8 season.

But Kingsbury might not be the only person in hot water with the Cardinals.

Pro Football Network recently came out with a list of five NFL general managers who could be fired after this season and it led its list with Cardinals GM Steve Keim.

Of Keim, Arif Hasan wrote: "It only ever seems like the Arizona Cardinals have had disappointing seasons. Among all general managers with at least five years of experience, Steve Keim has generated the lowest winning percentage. The only high-level executive without a 'general manager' title with a lower win rate is Bengals’ director of player personnel Duke Tobin. In some ways, Keim would end up being a victim of success – the Cardinals made the playoffs in 2021, and the collapse that followed in 2022 means Arizona has severely underperformed expectations. Much of that has to do with the decisions Keim has made; the defense is full of 'positionless' players who don’t do any specific job well, while the depth along the offensive line has left the team wanting."

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Could Arizona fire Keim?

The Cardinals GM received a contract extension through 2027 before this season, an extension that was slammed by many NFL writers and Cardinals fans at the time.

But of the six seasons in franchise history in which the Cardinals have won 11 or more games, three have come during Keim’s nine years as GM (2013-21).

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He’s had a knack for pulling off notoriously one-sided trades in favor of Arizona, namely ones involving quarterback Carson Palmer in 2013, pass rusher Chandler Jones in 2016, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins in 2020, and center Rodney Hudson and tight end Zach Ertz last year.

But the Cardinals are in the midst of a very disappointing season and calls for the GM to be fired are increasing.

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Fansided recently wrote about how Keim has had more than enough time to make the Cardinals a consistent winner.

Jim Koch wrote: "By NFL standards, Keim has had more than enough time to make the Cards into a winner. Very few GMs retain their jobs for 10 seasons without delivering a Super Bowl championship to their respective franchises. Why has Keim been afforded such a long leash? Many observers believe that Keim’s close relationship with Arizona owner Michael Bidwill has kept him employed with the club. The former North Carolina State University product even survived an extreme DUI conviction back in 2018. A disastrous 3-13 campaign followed that indiscretion, but that wasn’t even enough to send Keim to the unemployment line."

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Raising Zona's Sion Fawkes made the case for the Cardinals to fire Keim.

He wrote: "Keim has no one to blame for this mess of a roster but himself. A roster that looks as though some kid built it in franchise mode on EA Sports’ Madden NFL. One that, on paper, would probably contend for a Super Bowl, but in reality, is a more suitable contender for the NFC West’s basement. Some of Keim’s worst draft picks since 2015 have been Robert Nkemdiche and Josh Rosen, especially the latter. He let his relationship with players like Peterson to deteriorate, and Keim has also pulled off unnecessary trades for older players like Zach Ertz and Rodney Hudson."

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SB Nation wrote about how Keim needed to be held accountable for the Cardinals' woes.

Walter Mitchell wrote: "When is Michael Bidwill ever going to hold his GM accountable? By any common set of standards, the overwhelming preponderance of these contracts are an abject failure on Steve Keim’s part. You be the judge. How many of these deals look good to you right now?"

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The Arizona Republic's Bob McManaman contributed to this story.

Reach Jeremy Cluff at jeremy.cluff@arizonarepublic.com. Follow him on Twitter @Jeremy_Cluff.

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