Insider Hints at Cardinals Next Priority After Kingsbury, Keim Extensions

Kyler Murray

Getty Images Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray talk on the side against the Los Angeles Rams in 2021.

The Arizona Cardinals announced on March 2 that coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim have been extended through the 2027 campaign.

Both were entering the final year of their deals heading into the 2022 season.

The news comes two days after Kyler Murray’s detailed contract proposal from his agent, Erik Burkhard — the same agent who represents Kingsbury. Both Keim and Kingsbury shared their support of the quarterback at the NFL scouting combine on March 1. One day later, both have financial security for the next six seasons.

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Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill addressed the contract extensions in a press release.

“The leadership of both Steve and Kliff have been key factors in the team’s turnaround over the last three seasons,” said Bidwill. “We are all looking forward to continuing that progress and recognize these two individuals will be a big part of achieving our long-term goals as an organization.”

Free agency begins on March 16 and now the Cardinals have a sense of stability with their newest extensions for leadership.

Now, an insider gave insight on what the Cardinals’ next priority will be.

Reporter Senses Cardinals Next Move

The Cardinals general manager and head coach have new contracts. The Cardinals quarterback, meanwhile, does not. Kingsbury and Murray entered the league in 2019 in which they’ve seen their wins increase in three seasons — five, eight and 11.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said on March 2 that Murray is on “their radar in a big way.”

“Quarterback deals generally happen later,” said Rapoport. “My sense is the Cardinals would want to wait until these deals happen a lot of times like Josh Allen happened at training camp last year. They happen closer to August or maybe July. It does seem like Kyler Murray is on their radar in a big way. It just hasn’t happened yet and that’s the next priority for the Cardinals.”

Murray is eligible for an extension this offseason and has made it known with the scrubbing of social media posts and a contract proposal from his agent.

You can easily make the argument Murray is the reason for their increases in wins, as he’s the only player in NFL history with 70 touchdowns and 20 rushing touchdowns in his first three seasons. The Cardinals went 3-13 in 2018, which led to the team trading 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen to the Dolphins and drafting Murray first overall in 2019.

Murray is a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback and led the 2021 Cardinals to their first playoff appearance since 2015. It’s not hard to understand how much Murray has meant to the Cardinals organization.

What Will Cardinals Do With Murray?

Murray is expected to make $5.5 million in the fourth year of his current rookie deal. According to Keim, the Cardinals will “absolutely” pick up Murray’s fifth-year option as the deadline is in May.

But as Rapoport alluded to, Pro Bowl quarterbacks Josh Allen and Deshaun Watson received their contracts in the summer before their respective fourth seasons. Both also played in multiple playoff games and it still took a while for them to receive their next payday.

2018 first-round pick Lamar Jackson has been in the league longer and still has yet to receive a contract extension even with an NFL MVP on his resume.

Murray and his agent did send a jolt to the NFL world with their firm contract proposal on February 28. But reading the tea leaves, it’s looking like the Cardinals won’t have the same rush of giving an extension to Murray as they did with Kingsbury and Keim.

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Tim McDermott
Tim McDermott
2 months ago

Kyler is a top Quarterback in the NFL, if you don’t think so look at the team’s record of 10 and 2 early in the season before the injuries of Hopkins and Conner. Bringing in AJ Greene to sub for Hopkins was a horrible move and cost the team at least 2 wins. The Cards were able to beat the Rams when they were at full strength, but the Rams seemed to know the Cards playbook in their last 2 games. The worst thing the Cards could do, would be to start over, when a couple of tweeks and a healthy season next year could be a different story!

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