Arizona Cardinals’ coaching search currently in limbo
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals’ top choice to be their next head coach is smack dab in the middle of a run at a Super Bowl championship
Rumors regarding the head coaching candidates of the Arizona Cardinals must be taken with a grain of salt. Until an official announcement comes down, no one knows who that will be. Actually, Michael Bidwill and Steve Keim may have an idea, but they aren’t showing their hand at the present time.
According to the latest reports, one particular candidate is emerging as the front-runner for the gig. Pat Shurmur, the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, may be the guy. But until his current club’s season comes to an end, the former head coach of the Cleveland Browns can’t be hired by any outside organizations.
Although he’s apparently now the favorite to be the Cards’ new leader, Shurmur coming to the desert is hardly a done deal. The New York Giants and Detroit Lions are also interested in the 52-year old, according to league watchers. There’s one glaring reason that could make Arizona the top choice for Shurmur, however.
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Any coach that’s running an offense would likely prefer to have his own hand-picked quarterback to run it. It just so happens that Shurmur’s latest project, Case Keenum, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. It’s also a fact that due to the retirement of Carson Palmer, the Cardinals currently have zero signal-callers under contract for 2018.
There’s growing belief that if Shurmur does ultimately become the Cards’ new head coach, Keenum would come with him in a package deal. That’s the reason that most feel that Arizona will be the Vikings’ assistant’s preferred destination. The Giants (Eli Manning) and Lions (Matthew Stafford) are currently set at the quarterback position, so there would be no room for Keenum in either city.
Minnesota has an interesting dilemma facing them when free agency gets underway in March. Besides Keenum, fellow Vikes’ passers Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford will also be free to sign elsewhere. If they did decide to re-sign Keenum to be their man going forward, then perhaps it could be Bridgewater or Bradford following Shurmur to Arizona.
Again, none of this can be decided until the Vikings are finished with their run. That could be as soon as this weekend, or as far away as Super Bowl Sunday (February 4th). In the meantime, all the Cardinals can do is wait if their hearts are truly set on Shurmur.