General manager Steve Keim’s savvy wheeling and dealing has landed some top-notch talent for the Arizona Cardinals organization
Over the past several seasons, Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim has received an ample amount of criticism. Far too many draft-day mistakes, and some free agent failures as well, have put the club’s top executive on the firing line. There’s one aspect of the job, however, that Keim has mastered since he was put in charge of the Cardinals front office.
When it comes to orchestrating trades, there may not be a GM in the NFL who has done better than Keim. The team’s number-one talent evaluator has come out on the winning end of deals, time and time again. Here are a few of the masterpieces that Keim has engineered over the years for Arizona.
Back in April of 2013, Keim acquired a two-time Pro Bowl quarterback for an extremely reasonable price. Carson Palmer, the first college player selected back in 2003, came to the Cards for what was essentially a late-round draft choice. Keim literally fleeced the Oakland Raiders, obtaining a passer who would lead the squad to two playoff appearances and an NFC Championship game during his five campaigns with the franchise.
Three offseasons later, the Cardinals were in dire need of a pass-rusher and Keim struck again. Sensational sack artist Chandler Jones was acquired from the New England Patriots for very little. Keim sent a second-round pick, plus draft bust Jonathan Cooper, for an outside linebacker who has racked up an eye-popping 60 sacks since he came to Arizona back in 2016.
Last October, injuries to running backs David Johnson and Chase Edmonds forced Keim to make another move. Just one day before the 2019 trade deadline, the Redbirds basically stole Kenyan Drake away from the Miami Dolphins for a bargain-basement fee. Keim gave up just a fifth-round selection for a ball-carrier who galloped for an impressive 643 yards and eight touchdowns in eight contests.
This past Monday, Keim pulled off what may very well be his best trade yet for the Cards. Outstanding wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has been brought to the desert for basically a second-round draft choice and David Johnson. Keim and embattled Houston Texans general manager/head coach Bill O’Brien also swapped fourth-round picks in what appears to be one of the most lopsided deals in league history.
Any GM that wishes to approach Keim with a proposal should do so with caution. There’s a fairly good chance that Arizona will end up with the better end of the agreement. Keim has become an expert in the field, and his sparkling track record with trades will go a long way towards backing up that assessment.