Cardinals fire Kingsbury; Keim stepping down as GM
The Arizona Cardinals fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury, just one year after signing him to a contract extension through the 2027 season, sources told Jordan Schultz, theScore's NFL insider.
Arizona also won't retain Steve Keim - who's on a health-related absence - as general manager, though he could be brought back in a lesser role, Schultz adds. Keim had also been given a new deal through 2027.
The Cardinals later announced Kingbury's firing and Keim's decision to step down to focus on his health Monday.
Kingsbury was hired in 2019 after six seasons in charge of Texas Tech. Known for his high-powered offense, the 43-year-old was brought in to help develop Kyler Murray, whom Arizona selected No. 1 in the draft the same year.
While the Cardinals' offense improved under Kingsbury and Murray, the coach was often questioned over his inconsistent play-calling and the team's struggles late on in multiple seasons. He also publicly clashed with Murray on occasion.
Kingsbury appeared to turn a corner last season, leading Arizona to its first playoff berth of his tenure. However, the Cardinals were embarrassed in a blowout wild-card loss to the Los Angeles Rams, putting Kingsbury back on the hot seat entering 2022.
The NFC West club, which lost Murray for the season after he tore his ACL and meniscus Dec. 12., sputtered to a 4-13 finish. Kingsbury leaves Arizona with a 28-37-1 record.
Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill reportedly began vetting candidates prior to Kingsbury's dismissal, including former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton. Arizona is also expected to consider defensive coordinator Vance Joseph for the role, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network.
Meanwhile, Keim exits his current role after 10 years. He was promoted to GM in 2013 after joining the franchise in 1999 and working in various front-office roles.
Vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris and vice president of pro scouting Adrian Wilson have led Arizona's front office in Keim's absence. Owner Michael Bidwill is strongly considering promoting both of them to form a co-GM setup, reports Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.
With Kingsbury's exit, the NFL is now up to five head coaching vacancies. The Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, and Houston Texans are also looking for a new coach.