On Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals signed quarterback Kyler Murray to an extension worth $230.5 million and $160 million in guarantees through 2028.
In March 2022, the Arizona Cardinals signed head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim to extensions through 2027. This implies owner Michael Bidwill has faith in the team’s brass. And with Murray on board, it further implies the trio will be together following any meltdown.
The apparent good news here is that each of the three contracts and their lengths imply franchise stability. And that is hard to come by in the NFL, where it is common to see ownership give up on regimes after two or three seasons.
This isn’t the case with Keim, who has been the general manager since 2013, or Kingsbury and Murray, who are heading into their fourth season.
But with the signing, there is also a lot of risk involved. However, the trio has not seen much success in recent years. So let’s break it down.
The Kliff, Kyler, and Keim trio can work for the Arizona Cardinals, but they must show more than they have since 2019.
Kliff Kingsbury has always had the same issue: He collapses in the second half of a respective football season. And it doesn’t matter if it’s at the NFL or the NCAA level. Following his first seven games in 2019, in which the Cardinals sat at 3-3-1, the Kliff/Kyler duo finished 2-8.
During the 2020 season, the Cardinals jumped out to a 5-2 record before finishing the season at 3-6. At one point in the season, the 6-3 Cardinals held the NFC West lead via a tiebreaker. However, following a 7-0 start in 2021, the Cardinals finished 4-7 (counting the playoffs). This gives Kingsbury a combined 9-21 record following the first seven games in each of his last three seasons combined.
Kingsbury’s combined record during the first seven games of the season? 15-5-1. So in his case, he must find a way to stay consistent all season long. If this trend continues, there is no way he is sticking around the desert for the duration of his contract. But it doesn’t stop with Kingsbury. Let’s talk about Keim.