Arizona Cardinals offseason news updates: When will NFL team hire new coach?
Check out the latest news, speculation and rumors surrounding the Arizona Cardinals' NFL coaching job, and other team news. Keep coming back for more updates.
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A new candidate emerges
A new candidate has emerged in the Cardinals’ search for a head coach as Jonathan Gannon, the defensive coordinator for the Eagles, is expected to interview with the team on Monday a day after he coaches Philadelphia in Super Bowl 57 at State Farm Stadium.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was the first to report the news on Sunday morning.
Gannon, 40, is wrapping up his second season as the Eagles’ DC and was a finalist for the Texans’ head coaching position before Houston hired Lovie Smith and DeMeco Ryans. Gannon previously coached with the Falcons (2007), Titans (2012-13), Vikings (2014-2017) and Colts (2018-2020). He also spent three years as a scout with the Rams (2009-2011).
Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo had second interviews with Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill and General Manager Monto Ossenfort this past week via Zoom and Arizona is expected to name its next head coach within the next few days.
The Cardinals fired coach Kliff Kingsbury on Feb. 9, a day after the team finished 4-13.
When will Cardinals hire a new head coach?
The Arizona Cardinals do not plan on hiring a head coach until after Super Bowl 57, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Wednesday, meaning that the coaching search will drag on for at least a few more days.
The Cardinals fired Kliff Kingsbury on Jan. 9, a month ago.
Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and New York Giants' offensive coordinator Mike Kafka are believed to be the two finalists for the job to replace Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona.
Anarumo was reportedly set to interview again with Arizona on Friday, this time via video conference. Kafka reportedly interviewed Tuesday via video conference, his second interview with the team.
Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid said this of Kafka at the Super Bowl: “He is very intelligent, great human being,” Reid told reporters. "The quarterback [Kyler Murray] will love him. He’ll challenge him to be better than he even is now. But he’ll do a great job and challenge the team. The guys will respond. He played in the National Football League. … I think he would be tremendous for the city, for the Bidwill family and for you all.”
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes was also very high on Kafka and his coaching ability, telling reporters: "Coach Kafka is a special person and a special coach. He kind of took me [under his wing], when he first got here he was quality control and that was my first year as a rookie. I spent a lot of hours with coach Kafka where he was teaching me the playbook and teaching me how to become a quarterback in the NFL. That continued for a long time.
"I knew when he left here, he was going to be a head coach somewhere soon. I know he's down there in Arizona and if he gets hired there, he'll get that place turned around. He's a great coach and a great person as well so I'm excited for him."
Kafka was with the Chiefs for five seasons before becoming the Giants' offensive coordinator this season.
More:Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes endorse Mike Kafka for Arizona Cardinals coach: 'Tremendous'
Brian Flores accepts Minnesota Vikings' job
Brian Flores, who was reportedly a finalist for the Arizona Cardinals' head coaching position, has accepted the defensive coordinator position with the Minnesota Vikings the team announced Monday.
The news was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Flores, who spent last season as the linebackers coach and senior defensive assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers, replaces Ed Donatell in Minnesota.
Flores previously coached the Miami Dolphins from 2019-21, going 24-25 in his tenure, but ending with back-to-back winning seasons.
Flores has a lawsuit pending against the NFL and six teams − the Dolphins, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and the Cardinals. It claims discrimination from his firing by the Dolphins and in the interview process with the Giants and Broncos.
The NFL Network reported Sunday that Flores was expected to interview for a second time with the Cardinals for their head coaching vacancy on Wednesday.
Flores was believed to be among three finalists to replace Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, along with New York Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka and Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo.
That list appears to now be down to two. Anarumo is reportedly set to interview again with Arizona on Friday, this time via video conference. Kafka is expected to interview Tuesday via video conference, according to reports.
More:Arizona Cardinals' Mike Kafka coach speculation heats up: 'Frontrunner' for job?
More:Arizona Cardinals' Lou Anarumo coach speculation swirls: 'Not a surpise' finalist for job
Cardinals still considering Flores for head coach
The Cardinals might have felt they needed to move quickly if they still are considering Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach Brian Flores as a possible head coach. They are expected to have a second interview with Flores this Wednesday, according to an NFL Network report on Sunday.
Flores is reportedly to interview for the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator job the day before, and is a candidate to take over the Minnesota Vikings defense as well.
Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka's second interview with the Cardinals will be held on Tuesday, via Zoom video conference, SI.com reported Sunday. Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is also scheduled for a second interview Friday, also to done remotely.
These could be the three finalists for the Cardinals job, with the season having been over for four weeks. In fact, according to another report from SI.com's Albert Breer, they are.
Breer reported Sunday night that the Cardinals have informed defensive coordinator Vance Joseph and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan that they are no longer candidates for the job. Callahan is a candidate to be the Indianapolis Colts' head coach.
Cardinals seek 2nd interviews with Anarumo, Kafka
The Cardinals are expected to hold second interviews next week with Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka for their vacant head coaching position, according to multiple reports.
Anarumo is scheduled to meet with Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill and General Manager Monti Ossenfort this coming Friday via Zoom. A day for Kafka’s second interview with Arizona wasn’t immediately known.
The Cardinals fired Kliff Kingsbury on Jan 9, a day after they finished the season 4-13, tying the franchise record for most losses in a season.
Vance Joseph, Aaron Glenn mentioned in reports
As the Cardinals continue the process of finding a head coach, two reports surfaced Thursday regarding a pair of candidates for the job.
NFL insider Michael Silver tweeted that current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who is in the running for head coach, could be a fit for the San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator job now that DeMeco Ryans has been named the Houston Texans' new head coach.
Joseph and Ejiro Evero, two Cardinals head coach candidates, would probably like to know where they are going to be next season as soon as possible. Joseph remains under contract with Arizona, while Evero was the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator last season.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported Thursday that the Cardinals are expected to have another conversation with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn about the head coach position. This week alone, the Cardinals have reportedly interviewed three other candidates − New York Giants assistant Mike Kafka on Tuesday, Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo on Wednesday and Bengals offensive coordinator Brian Callahan Thursday.
The Cardinals coach search started on Jan. 9 after Kliff Kingsbury was let go, and is in its fourth week.
Sean Payton expected to coach Denver Broncos
Sean Payton is now out of the mix to become the next head coach of the Cardinals.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Payton is now expected to sign with the Denver Broncos after they reached an agreement with the Saints on trade compensation to acquire his rights from New Orleans. Payton stepped down as head coach of the Saints following the 2021 season but has two more years remaining on his contract with New Orleans.
Per Schefter, the Broncos are parting with their first-round pick this year, their second-round pick in 2024 and will receive the Saints’ third-round pick in 2024 in order to sign Payton.
Another Cardinals coaching candidate, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, is also out of the mix in Arizona. Ryans is signing a six-year deal to become the next head coach of the Texans, according to Schefter.
The Cardinals met with Payton this past Thursday during a lengthy interview at the team’s Tempe training facility that lasted nearly eight hours. The Cardinals had previously requested an interview with Ryans, but he canceled that meeting to focus on the 49ers’ playoff run.
At least seven known candidates remain for the Cardinals, who fired Kliff Kingsbury on Jan. 9 after the team finished 4-13.
They have scheduled interviews with three more candidates, including Giants offensive coordinator Mike Kafka. He was expected to meet with team owner Michael Bidwill and new GM Monto Ossenfort on Tuesday, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero.
Per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, the Cardinals also are scheduled to meet with the Bengals’ top two coordinators this week. Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo is expected to interview on Wednesday and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan will interview on Thursday.
The Cardinals have already had interviews with six other candidates, including former Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, a senior defensive assistant and linebackers coach for the Steelers this past season, who remains a potential favorite. Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero and current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph are also still in the mix.
Two other candidates, Frank Reich and Dan Quinn, are now out of the picture. Reich, former head coach of the Colts, is now the new head coach of the Panthers. Quinn decided to stay put in Dallas as the Cowboys’ defensive coordinator.
Giants' Kafka set to interview for Cardinals job
Another head coach candidate has emerged and according to ESPN, will interview for the Cardinals job.
Mike Kafka is the third name that was connected to Cardinals on Monday. He is a former NFL quarterback who just finished his first season as the New York Giants' offensive coordinator. Before that, he was the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator. His interview is set for Tuesday, the NFL Network reported.
That shows Kafka has an impressive track record, as the Giants made the playoffs and won a game and Kafka worked with Super Bowl quarterback Patrick Mahomes while in Kansas City.
In New York, Kafka's work with Daniel Jones helped the young signal caller take a step forward in his development.
More:Sean Payton addresses Arizona Cardinals, other NFL coaching job speculation, timeline
Reports: Cardinals ask to interview two more candidates, lose another assistant coach
The Cardinals have asked the Cincinnati Bengals for permission to interview their two coordinators, defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan, according to separate reports.
The NFL Network reported on Callahan, whose Bengals offense almost had enough to beat the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. FOX Sports reported on Anarumo, who has led the Bengals' defense since 2019.
Cincinnati got to the Super Bowl last year and came up just short this season.
The interviews signal that the Cardinals still haven't made a decision on whom will coach the team, with five other candidates beyond the two reported Monday. It's anyone's guess when they will finish with all interviews, call for second interviews and ultimately make the hire.
The NFL Network reported that the Cardinals plan on the Anarumo interview Wednesday with Callahan's on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals have lost another assistant coach to a new job. After outside linebackers coach Charlie Bullen left for college football coaching at Illinois over the weekend, an ESPN report said tight ends coach Steve Heiden is expected to depart for the same position with the Detroit Lions.
Heiden spent 10 seasons with the Cardinals and last season, helped out with the offensive line after the sudden dismissal of offensive line coach Sean Kugler in November. Heiden is a former NFL tight end who is one of the longest-tenured assistant coaches in Cardinals history.
Cardinals lose defensive assistant to college ranks
Former Cardinals outside linebackers coach Charlie Bullen was hired by Illinois of the Big Ten to be the program's outside linebackers coach and pass rush coordinator, the university announced Saturday.
Bullen joined the Cardinals before the 2019 season after seven seasons on the Miami Dolphins staff. During his four seasons in Arizona, he coached such top pass rushers as Markus Golden, Chandler Jones and Haason Reddick, and this past year worked with Golden and a trio of promising rookies, Cameron Thomas, Myjai Sanders and Jesse Luketa, among others.
Bullen is a native of suburban Chicago and attended a Big Ten college, Iowa, where he also coached. He has Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the institution.
Kyler Murray shows surgically-repaired knee
Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray on Friday posted a photo on his Instagram stories showing his surgically repaired right knee. He had surgery to repair a torn ACL almost four weeks ago.
Murray is not expected to be available for any offseason workouts nor training camp, based on the expected time for his knee to heal and the rehabilitation that comes with it.
Quinn stays with Cowboys, Reich hired by Panthers
On the day the Cardinals had Sean Payton at the team facility for an interview for the head coach job, two other candidates are off the board for the position.
While Payton met with Cardinals president and owner Michael Bidwill and General Manager Monti Ossenfort, Dan Quinn opted to remain the Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator despite the interest in him from the Cardinals and other teams to be their head coach in announcements made Thursday.
Frank Reich, the former Indianapolis Colts head coach, was named new head coach of the Carolina Panthers on Thursday. Reich reportedly interviewed with the Cardinals last week.
The remaining candidates for the Cardinals job are Payton, Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, Pittsburgh Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores and Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph.
San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans canceled an interview with the Cardinals as he focuses on the NFC playoffs.
Report: Cardinals interview Dan Quinn, will hire assistant GM
According to a pair of NFL Network reports Saturday morning, the Cardinals have requested an interview for the vacant head coach job with Dan Quinn, the Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator who has a playoff game to prepare for this weekend.
That interview took place virtually for about an hour on Saturday, it was reported on the network's NFL GameDay pregame show prior to the Jacksonville-Kansas City divisional round game.
The Cardinals are also set to hire, according to the report, an assistant general manager in Dave Sears.
Sears is currently the Detroit Lions' director of college scouting and will work with new Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort. The two worked together as scouts with the Houston Texans years ago.
The addition of Sears could mean other front office changes for the Cardinals, whom as of last week were still employing Quentin Harris and Adrian Wilson, two personnel executives developed in the organization.
Ossenfort, according to the NFL Network, will meet with Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins to discuss Hopkins' future with the team as soon as next week. The team could decide to trade Hopkins, as has been widely speculated, to get back draft picks.
Quinn becomes the eighth head coach candidate the Cardinals have either interviewed. Another candidate, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, is to interview with the Cardinals before San Francisco hosts the Cowboys on Sunday, according to an ESPN report.
That report was debunked by a 49ers beat reporter, David Lombardi of The Athletic, who said Ryans was not going to interview Sunday and that such an appointment on the day of a playoff game would be unprecedented.
Quinn was the Associated Press NFL Assistant Coach of the Year in 2021, his first season in Dallas. He was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2015 to 2020, and helped the Seattle Seahawks win their only Super Bowl title as the defensive coordinator for the famed "Legion of Boom" secondary in 2013.
Cardinals' Shawn Jefferson linked to Patriots opening
The candidates for openings around the NFL at offensive and defensive coordinator are beginning to emerge, and one name is Shawn Jefferson of the Cardinals, who had been associate head coach and wide receivers coach on Kliff Kingsbury's staff.
According to a CBS Sports report, Jefferson is to interview for the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator position on Friday. Jefferson has spent 18 seasons as an NFL assistant after 13 seasons as a player, four with the Patriots.
New England head coach Bill Belichick did not officially name an offensive coordinator on his staff in 2022. The Patriots' 315 yards of total offense per game were 26th in the NFL.
Cardinals ask permission to interview Lions assistant
The NFL Network reported Wednesday that the Cardinals have requested an interview with Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, who helped the Lions go 9-8 this season and finish in second place in the NFC North.
Statistically, the Lions' defense was near the bottom if not the very bottom of the league in several categories. But Detroit improved from 3-13-1 in 2021 to above .500.
Glenn was also a hit on HBO's "Hard Knocks" for his scenes and speeches in the show. The 50-year-old former NFL defensive back was a three-time Pro Bowler who spent most of his career with the New York Jets.
Glenn becomes the seventh known candidate for Cardinals head coach. His interview is reportedly set for Saturday.
Another head coach candidate: Ejiro Evero
The Cardinals, according to a report from the NFL Network, have requested permission to interview Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero for their head coach opening. That brings the list of confirmed and reported candidates for the position to six.
Confirmed by team: Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, who is to be interviewed soon.
Reported as having been interviewed: Former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich.
Reported as having been requested by the Cardinals for permission to interview: Sean Payton, Brian Flores, DeMeco Ryans, Ejiro Evero. The New Orleans Saints have granted permission to the Cardinals to interview Payton.
Evero is a longtime NFL assistant who has held coaching positions with the Los Angeles Rams, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He won a Super Bowl as part of the Rams staff last season before joining the Broncos in 2022 and guiding a top-10 NFL defense.
Evero has drawn interest from the Texans, Colts, Panthers and Broncos to fill their head coach vacancies.
Report: Frank Reich interviews for head coach
According to ESPN, the Cardinals interviewed former Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich on Tuesday, the same day Arizona introduced new general manager Monti Ossenfort at the team facility.
So it stands to reason that Ossenfort's first task as Cardinals GM was to take part in conducting the interview with Reich, who coached the Cardinals' wide receivers in 2012 under former head coach Ken Whisenhunt.
Reich, 61, joins Vance Joseph (Cardinals defensive coordinator), DeMeco Ryans (49ers defensive coordinator), Brian Flores (Steelers linebackers coach) and Sean Payton (former Saints head coach) as candidates to become Cardinals head coach. The Cardinals will soon interview Joseph, it was confirmed Tuesday, and have been granted permission to interview Payton while having made requests to speak with Ryans and Flores.
Reich was fired after Week 9 this season, with the Colts at 3-5-1. Indianapolis brought in former Colt Jeff Saturday straight from ESPN as interim coach for the remainder of the season.
As player, Reich spent 13 seasons in the NFL as a backup quarterback, most notably with the Buffalo Bills.
Ryans can be interviewed in person Tuesday
After defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans and his San Francisco 49ers unit held the Seattle Seahawks without a meaningful point in the second half of the 49ers' 41-23 wild card playoff win Saturday, Ryans became an even hotter head coach candidate.
This from the NFL Network's NFL GameDay show prior to the start of Sunday's wild card games. The Cardinals joined the Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos and Houston Texans as teams that requested permission to speak with Ryans and can interview him in person starting Tuesday, and the network reported that those interviews will take place toward the end of the week.
On the Sean Payton front, speculation arose after the Los Angeles Chargers blew a 27-0 lead and lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars Saturday night that the Chargers could fire head coach Brandn Staley and go after Payton.
CBS Sports reported before the Dolphins-Bills game Sunday that Payton is the leading candidate for the Broncos' head coach opening, but that "everybody in the league knows" that Payton has had his eye on the Chargers job.
It wasn't open before Saturday night, but after such a bad loss, it might be. Other NFL insiders have speculated that the Chargers aren't likely to go after Payton and instead, changes could be made within Staley's staff.
The Panthers, ESPN reported, are the latest team to have requested permission to interview Payton, joining the Cardinals, Texans and Broncos. Those are four of the five teams with openings at head coach.
A price to pay for Payton
Should the Cardinals offer the head coaching position to Sean Payton, they will have to compensate the New Orleans Saints since Payton is still under contract with that team. Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis made that crystal clear Friday in comments to media who cover the team.
That compensation has yet to be worked out between the Saints and the three teams who have been given permission to interview Payton, the Cardinals, Houston Texans and Denver Broncos.
Would the Cardinals be willing to give up the No. 3 overall pick in the draft in April to get Payton? Houston has the No. 2 and No. 12 picks and the Broncos do not select in Round 1 until late, after it is determined where the San Francisco 49ers finish after the playoffs.
Some have speculated that the Cardinals are in the lead to land Payton. If so, draft pick compensation seems sure to be the asking price.
"It’s going to be different for every team because they have different picks and different things available to them,” Loomis said. “They have to get our permission to have a discussion with him, and then we have to have the compensation settled before they can actually hire him."
Cardinals request permission to speak with Brian Flores
The Arizona Cardinals have requested permission to interview Brian Flores for their head coaching position, according to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
Flores is the linebackers coach and a senior defensive assistant with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He went 24-25 in three seasons as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2019-21.
He was with the New England Patriots from 2004-18, spending time in a variety of roles, including scouting assistant, pro scout, special teams assistant, special teams coach, defensive assistant, safeties coach and linebackers coach.
Flores is drawing interest with the Cardinals though he has a lawsuit pending against the NFL and six teams − the Dolphins, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans and the Cardinals. It claims discrimination from his firing by the Dolphins and in the interview process with the Giants and Broncos.
The lawsuit in federal court alleges, among other things, that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered Flores money for losing games on purpose so as to improve Miami's draft position. With regard to the Giants, it alleges racism in the interview process in that New York interviewed him for its head coach position (which was offered to Brian Daboll) for no other reason than compliance with the NFL's Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for open positions.
Since the suit was filed, coaches Ray Horton (now retired) and Steve Wilks have joined as plaintiffs, which has led to the addition of the Cardinals as one of the teams being sued. Wilks, who took over as the Carolina Panthers' interim head coach this season and went 6-6 to give them a shot at the NFC South title, was fired after one season in Arizona following the 2018 and replaced by Kliff Kingsbury.
Wilks has sued the Cardinals and is in the running to be named permanent Panthers head coach after his success this season.
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Cardinals request interview with 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans
The 49ers announced Thursday that the Cardinals have requested permission to interview defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans for the vacant head coaching position in Arizona.
The news comes a day after it was learned that Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill had formally reached out to the Saints and was granted permission to interview former Saints coach Sean Payton, who is still under contract for two more years with New Orleans.
Ryans, 38, was a linebacker in the NFL for 10 seasons with the Texans and Eagles before joining the 49ers’ coaching staff in 2017, first as a defensive quality control coach, then as the team’s inside linebackers coach before becoming defensive coordinator in 2021.
The Broncos, Texans and Panthers have also requested interviews with Ryans. Because the 49ers meet the Seahawks in an NFC West Wild Card game on Saturday, the Cardinals would have to wait until after that game to interview him.
Ryans spoke about the process when meeting with San Francisco area reporters.
“It’s very humbling to be able to get requests for head coaching interviews,” he said “It’s humbling when you think about a lot of guys who’ve coached before me and a lot of guys put in a lot of years – a guy like Bobby Turner (the 49ers’ 73-year-old running backs coach) comes to mind and all the years he put in.
“I think about guys like that and them not being able to get the opportunity and me, truly being able to go represent them. And that’s what it means, it means a lot for the other guys that have been before me. And it’s special to be able to be in a select group, to have head coaching interviews and people requesting. It’s a special moment, it’s a proud moment and I’m very thankful and grateful just to be spoken of in that light.”
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Cardinals request permission to interview Ravens' Joe Hortiz for GM
The Cardinals have requested permission to interview the Ravens’ director of player personnel Joe Hortiz for their vacant general manager position, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Hortiz, 48, has spent 25 years with the Ravens. He was promoted from the team’s director of college scouting in 2009 before becoming Baltimore’s director of player personnel in 2015.
Last year, he interviewed for GM positions with both the Giants and Steelers.
More:Arizona Cardinals' coach search: Sean Payton has history with team, Bidwill family
Cardinals to interview Vance Joseph for head coach position
The Arizona Cardinals are going to interview defensive coordinator Vance Joseph for their head coaching position, according to a report from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Fowler reported that the interview was expected to happen next week, writing that Joseph is "well-respected in the building."
Joseph has been Arizona's defensive coordinator for four seasons, all under former head coach Kingsbury.
He was the head coach of the Denver Broncos in 2017 and 2018, where he posted an 11-21 record.
Cunningham in GM interview Thursday
The Cardinals are moving in looking for their next general manager. According to an NFL.com report, the team is interviewing Chicago Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham Thursday.
Cunningham also has front office experience with the Philadelphia Eagles and as a scout with the Baltimore Ravens. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill is likely familiar with Cunningham from the NFL's Front Office Accelerator program last month, and also in May of 2022.
The program is designed to promote more diversity in the NFL.
Bidwill has mentioned the Accelerator program in the past as a place where he's found quality front office candidates. The Cardinals also have a history of diversity in hiring going back to that late Bill Bidwill's ownership of the team.
"We’ve had two accelerator programs this year, one in May and one just last month in Dallas and that gave us an ability to visit with and get to know a number of the up-and-coming GM and personnel candidates. I already feel like we’ve started down that road," Michael Bidwill said Monday. "These won’t be the first conversations I’ve had with a number of these folks not knowing where we'd be today back in May or even last month. I think it’s been a very good process that the NFL has created and it’s given me and us a real head start."
Antonio Hamilton moving on?
Cardinals cornerback Antonio Hamilton posted a message on Twitter that might be a goodbye to Arizona.
Hamilton, who turns 30 this month, has played the past two seasons with the Cardinals. He appeared in 10 games with five starts and set career highs in pass breakups with five and tackles with 40 in 2022. He also got his first career interception.
A free-agent-to-be, Hamilton played on a one-year contract this past season.
Hamilton also dealt with injuries in 2022. Most notably, the burns on his feet and legs that he suffered as a result of a cooking accident caused him to miss the first month of the season, after he'd won a starting job out of training camp and the preseason.
Hamilton, a well-liked and respected player who mentored younger players, successfully returned from that nightmare. But he finished the season with a hip injury and missed the last two games.
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Cardinals receive permission to speak with Sean Payton
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that the Cardinals have received permission to interview former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, who is still under contract with the Saints.
Rapoport tweeted: "The #AZCardinals have received permission to speak with #Saints coach Sean Payton, sources say, as they plot out their coaching search. One of the more coveted coaches available, Payton also has an interview looming with the #Broncos."
Rapoport also reported that Payton has an interview set with the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans.
If the Cardinals were to hire him to replace Kliff Kingsbury, whom they fired after four seasons on Monday, they will have to pay the Saints compensatory allowance, which likely would be in the form of a high draft pick or picks and/or a financial payment.
Payton, 59, went 152-89 in 15 seasons as the head coach of the Saints,. He led them to a victory in Super Bowl XLIV and won Coach of the Year honors in 2006. He reportedly could command an annual salary of $20 million. In addition to the Cardinals, the Denver Broncos and Houston Texans have also asked and received permission from the Saints to interview Payton.
He went 9-8 in playoff games. Recent odds peg Payton as the favorite to coach the Cardinals.
-- Bob McManaman
More:Kyler Murray's NFL career will be defined by his 'reset' and how he responds to new coach
49ers assistant GM declines interview with Cardinals
Adam Peters, the 49ers’ assistant general manager, has declined to interview with the Cardinals and Titans for their vacant GM positions, according to a report by NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Peters will instead focus his attention on helping the 49ers during their postseason run, which begins Saturday with an NFC Wild Card game against the visiting Seahawks. San Francisco finished the season with 10 straight wins to capture the NFC West title with a 13-4 record.
Peters is in his sixth season with the 49ers, his second as assistant GM. He spent the previous four years as the club’s vice president of player personnel. Previously, he worked with the Broncos from 2009-16, serving as Denver’s director of college scouting in his last season there. He's also spent time in the Patriots’ scouting department.
-- Bob McManaman
More:Kliff Kingsbury will have NFL, college coaching options after Arizona Cardinals' firing
DeAndre Hopkins done in Arizona?
Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins posted a photo of himself on his Instagram account Wednesday. It is captioned with the words "Forever grateful."
Given the recent buzz about a possible trade of Hopkins in the offseason (he has two years and more than $34 million left on his contract), the words could be perceived as a foreshadowing of his departure. Hopkins has a no-trade clause in his contract but if he's saying goodbye to the Cardinals, it seems he's willing to waive it.
Hopkins has proved in his three seasons in Arizona that when healthy, he can put up big numbers. He's become known for effortless one-handed grabs, and is a locker room leader whose own brand of community involvement has left a good impression on many in the Phoenix area.
He missed the first six games of this past season due to suspension for violation of the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy. He returned from that and played well for the most part, but missed the season's last two games with a knee injury.
The Cardinals would take a major salary cap hit in keeping Hopkins, and with the team headed in a new direction with a general manager and head coach soon to be hired, Hopkins might be looking to get out and move to a team that is better situated for the playoffs and/or the Super Bowl.
— José Romero
More:Arizona Cardinals coaching speculation: Vance Joseph could replace Kliff Kingsbury
Cardinals sign 14 players to future contracts
The Cardinals announced they have signed 14 players to future contracts for the 2023 season. Twelve of the 14 players spent time with the team this past season.
They are punter Nolan Cooney, offensive linemen Lachavious Simmons, Julien Davenport and Badara Traore, cornerback Nate Hairston, safeties JuJu Hughes and Josh Thomas, linebacker Blake Lynch, tight ends Chris Pierce and Bernhard Seikovits and wide receivers Auden Tate and Javon Wims.
The two new faces are kicker Elliott Frye and long snapper Joe Fortunato.
Frye has kicked in three games in his career since entering the league in 2019 with the Bears as an undrafted rookie free agent out of South Carolina. He is 5 of 6 on field goals, having kicked for the Bengals, Chiefs and Falcons. He has spent time on the practice squads with Atlanta, Kansas City, Green Bay and Cincinnati.
Fortunato entered the league with the Colts as an undrafted free agent from Delaware and has also spent time with the Cowboys and Packers prior to spending time on he Broncos’ practice squad this past season.
-- Bob McManaman
More:Sean Payton big favorite to replace Kliff Kingsbury in next Arizona Cardinals coach odds
General manager candidates emerge
Cardinals principal owner and president Michael Bidwill's search for a general manager is one that has seen him look at internal and external candidates. Bidwill hopes to hire a GM before a head coach, ideally, but said Monday that if the right head coach candidate is there and decided on, the team wouldn't hesitate to move on that hire.
Bidwill confirmed that he has spoken to Cardinals vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris and vice president of pro personnel Adrian Wilson about the general manager position. He confirmed that an interview with an external candidate had already taken place as of Monday, and it's been speculated that Buffalo Bills senior director of pro personnel Malik Boyd is that person.
Boyd is a former Cardinals scout whom Bidwill knows well from more than a decade of having Boyd on staff.
As mentioned in The Republic on Monday, reports from several outlets have linked the Cardinals to Chicago Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham, Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort and San Francisco 49ers director of pro personnel Ran Carthon and assistant GM Adam Peters. There have been requests made for interviews for that group.
NFL Media on Tuesday reported that Jerry Reese, who won two Super Bowls as general manager of the New York Giants, interviewed with the Cardinals.
The Titans have expressed interest in an interview with Harris for their general manager position, the NFL Network reported Monday.
— José Romero
Arizona Cardinals coaching candidates:Arizona Cardinals coaching candidates: Who could replace Kliff Kingsbury as head coach?
Lack of diverse experience doomed Cardinals' Kliff Kingsbury era
The Arizona Republic's Greg Moore writes in his latest column: "It’s too bad that Kliff Kingsbury got fired.
"It means that no matter what he tried, it just didn’t work.
"Kingsbury is a football junkie who’s going to walk away with great on-the-job experience and reportedly about $30 million after getting sacked with several years left on his contract.
"He was also a good guy to be around: self-deprecating and, at times, funny. Most of all, it was clear that he wanted to win; he just didn’t know how to do it."
Click here to read Moore's entire column on why Kingsbury was fired by the Cardinals.
More:Arizona Cardinals next coach odds favor Byron Leftwich, Eric Bieniemy, Sean Payton
Why this coaching search will be different for Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill
The Arizona Republic's Kent Somers writes in his latest column: "When it comes to hiring coaches, this is not Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill’s first go-around. He’s been involved in so many that it’s almost surprising he’s not better at it by now.
"But the search Bidwill is about to embark upon, finding replacements for General Manager Steve Keim, who is stepping away for health reasons, and coach Kliff Kingsbury, who was fired Monday, will be unique for Bidwill.
"In previous searches, Bidwill always had a partner: his father, Bill; and former general manager Rod Graves and Keim. Over the decades, they tried everything to find a coach who could win consistently in Arizona."
You can read Somers' entire column on the Cardinals' coaching search here.
More:Arizona Cardinals fire head coach Kliff Kingsbury, remove GM Steve Keim
Vance Joseph to get 'long look' as Arizona Cardinals head coach
NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph would get a "long look" at becoming the head coach of the Cardinals in the aftermath of Kliff Kingsbury's firing.
"Expect #AZCardinals DC Vance Joseph to get a long look for HC in Arizona, source said," Rapoport tweeted. "He's very respected in the building."
Who could replace Kliff Kingsbury as Arizona Cardinals coach?
Who could replace Kliff Kingsbury as the coach of the Arizona Cardinals?
An early list of candidates includes former New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, current Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, current Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and some former NFL coaches as well as up-and-coming coordinators.
Click here to see our list of potential candidates to be the next Cardinals coach.
More:Kliff Kingsbury firing reaction: NFL world sounds off on Arizona Cardinals' coaching 'con'
Cardinals fire Kliff Kingsbury after 4-13 season
The Arizona Cardinals have fired coach Kliff Kingsbury after four seasons, the team confirmed.
ESPN's Adam Schefter and NFL.com's Ian Rapoport were among those to first report the news on Monday morning, one day after the Cardinals finished 4-13 on the season after a 38-13 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cardinals didn't win a game since beating the Los Angeles Rams in Week 10, 27-17, losing seven straight games to end the season.
Kingsbury went 28-37-1 in the regular season as the Cardinals' coach.
Click here to read more about the end of Kingsbury's tenure in Arizona.
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