Arizona Cardinals: Making the case for cutting ties with Steve Keim
By Sion Fawkes
The Arizona Cardinals roster is a mess. Even if it looks good on paper, on-field production shows an entirely different product.
Steve Keim is a foil for Kevin Colbert. Who is Kevin Colbert? He served as the general manager for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2010 to 2022, and from 2000 to 2010, was the director of player personnel. He played a massive part in building the Steelers into Super Bowl Champions in 2005 and 2008.
And perhaps Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim should be singing his own swan song, given the way he has practically given the Redbirds windows that grow smaller by the year. There is one huge difference between Keim and Colbert, which is why they are foils for one another: Keim tries to build through trades and free agency; Colbert built through the draft.
The Arizona Cardinals would be smart to show Steve Keim the door
Keim reminds me a lot of Joe Namath. Namath was a mediocre quarterback whose Hall of Fame career rode on just one game. Just as Keim rides his career on his 2x Executive of the Year Awards that he received about a thousand years ago. Since 2015, Keim has built rosters that, while talented most of the time, had short windows simply because they were aging.
Here is a small list of Keim’s mishaps:
- Making questionable draft picks
- Trading away draft picks for older players
- Failing to land a legitimate franchise quarterback – While the jury is still out on Kyler Murray, his development has stalled in Year 4
- Failing to address multiple positions of need, instead relying on fringe players with streaky performances
- Burning bridges – Patrick Peterson may be the best example of this
Keim has no one to blame for this mess of a roster but himself. A roster that looks as though some kid built it in franchise mode on EA Sports’ Madden NFL. One that, on paper, would probably contend for a Super Bowl, but in reality, is a more suitable contender for the NFC West’s basement.
Some of Keim’s worst draft picks since 2015 have been Robert Nkemdiche and Josh Rosen, especially the latter. He let his relationship with players like Peterson to deteriorate, and Keim has also pulled off unnecessary trades for older players like Zach Ertz and Rodney Hudson.
While those trades looked good at one time, trading for 30-somethings always means shorter windows. And it’s why the Cardinals find themselves in their current mess.
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