You rarely will find me defending Steve Keim.
After an initial wave of success with Bruce Arians it has been tough sledding for the Arizona Cardinals GM.
His best moves have involved trading picks for players (and absolutely dominating those trades), and cutting bait on players early enough.
Where he has struggled is really everywhere else.
Walter has talked about his drafts and free agency overlaps before, something that is still really peculiar.
However, this time I think Keim got it right.
Nuance is tough on the internet so I want to first state that Corey Linsley is a completely dominant player and would have improved the Cardinals offense in an unmeasurable way.
He is that good at center.
Yet, for the first time in a while I side with Steve Keim on something.
The alleged offer from the Arizona Cardinals was not only fair but smart for Linsley ($10 millionish a year and $20 million guaranteed).
He’s a 30-year old center who has played extremely well with one of the smartest quarterbacks in NFL history.
He has grown up in a stable system, with the same bedrock of players around him.
He is great there’s no doubt to that.
Yet, I agree with Keim.
The Cardinals are going in a specific direction for most of their players… contract up when it’s time to extend Kyler Murray.
So Linsley on five year deal doesn’t fit with that ideal for the Cardinals.
Not only that, but making a soon-to-be 30-year old the highest paid center in the NFL is not something I’d advocate for.
I thought Linsley was the perfect fit for the Cardinals.
I was told he was their top priority in free agency.
I am okay with Steve Keim not breaking the bank for Linsley.
It’s a rare occurrence when I defend Keim, but this time I think he got it right.