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How Cardinals Nearly Lost High Draft Pick

Arizona Cardinals Introduce Kliff Kingsbury - Press Conference Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Cardinals’ fans can breathe easier today knowing that the team did not lose its #33 pick, when they came within a whisker of doing so a couple of weeks ago.

Chalk it up to the inexperience of a new rookie head coach---Kliff Kingsbury---who should have known better.

As in...he should have done his research on the NFL’s tampering rules.

A couple of weeks ago, Kinsgbury arranged to meet his former All-Star QB Patrick Mahomes for dinner. Then Kingsbury thought wouldn’t it be cool to invite his friend, Sean McVay, to join them for the night of sizzling ribeyes and red wine.

McVay jumped at the opportunity---as he was hoping at some point to have the chance to get to know and pick the brain the razzle-dazzling 2018 NFL MVP.

So there they were---the three of them---yucking it up and having a good old time---when all of a sudden McVay’s cellphone buzzed---and because it was sitting there on the table in plain view, Kingsbury saw the name of the caller.

It was Roger Goodell.

McVay said he’d better take the call.

All Kingsbury and Mahomes heard was McVay saying “yes, sir, yes, sir,” many times. McVay ended the call by saying, “I will let Kliff know. He will get right on it.”

”What’s going on?” Kingsbury asked.

”You know,” McVay said, “I don’t know how Goodell got wind of this dinner, but he was reading me the riot act about tampering and how you and I should have a better understanding the NFL’s tampering rule.”

”What??? Pat’s under contract for three more years, how the frick is this tampering?” Kingsbury stammered.

”Yeah, I agree, but Goodell said we had better send Pat along and that we had better call our GMs right away to report about the dinner. Goodell said that he will review the matter and that it is possible we could lose draft picks. He said in your case, it could cost you the #33 pick.”

McVay continued, “Here let me call Les Snead and you should call Steve Keim.”

And just as McVay went to call Snead, his cellphone rang again.

Again, it was Roger Goodell.

Yet again, McVay uttered a number of yes, sir, yes, sirs while Kingsbury and Mahomes sat there looking baffled and irate.

And then, McVay said, “Yes, Pat’s right here, let me hand him the phone. The Commissioner wants to talk to you.”

There was long pause as Mahomes listened to what Goodell had to say. Mahomes finally said, “I had no idea, sir. I am sorry, sir. Yes, I will call Andy Reid. I will let him know. We could lose a draft pick too? Dang. This is messed up. I am truly sorry. You want to talk to Coach Kingsbury? OK, here.”

Mahomes passed Kingsbury the phone.

”Coach Kingsbury?”


”This is Roger Goodell.”

”Yes, sir.”

”I am a very good friend of Sean McVay’s.”

”Yes, sir.”

”We are such good friends that he lists my name in his his cellphone as Roger Goodell.”


”You’ve just been pranked, dude!”

McVay and Mahomes erupted in laughter.

McVay ended it by saying, “What I really hope is that they take away your #1 pick.”

”I am getting you back, dude. That was a good one.”

True story---a little embellished, but McVay apprised ESPN’s Adam Schefter of it in a recent podcast.