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What if Steve Keim had remained the Cardinals’ GM?

Here is a guess at the moves Keim would have made this season

Arizona Cardinals v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

Have you wondered what the state of the Arizona Cardinals would look like had Michael Bidwill stuck with Steve Keim as the team’s GM?

Here is a set of educated guesses as to the moves that Steve Keim would have made since the disappointing end of the 2022 season.

Head Coach

There is no doubt that Michael Bidwill was going to fire Kliff Kingsbury after the team’s 4-13 dud of a season was over. But, what if Bidwill had decided to keep Steve Keim?

All along, it appeared to some pundits and fans that Steve Keim may have been grooming offensive line coach Sean Kugler as Kliff Kingsbury’s successor. However, obviously, any prospect of Kugler’s promotion to head coach was dashed when he was jettisoned out of Mexico City and fired by the team for allegedly groping a woman in public.

Vance Joseph, when asked about Steve Keim’s leave of absence due to illness, expressed his sadness and described Keim as “a very good friend.”

It appeared all along that Michael Bidwill was very fond of Vance. You might have taken notice of Bidwill’s strong embrace of Vance on the sideline before the start of the Broncos game, as captured in audio and video by HBO’s Hard Knocks crew.

Therefore, there are reasons to believe that Steve Keim, with Michael Bidwill’s blessing, would have promoted Vance Joseph to head coach.

Offensive Coordinator

Byron Leftwich.

Defensive Coordinator:

James Bettcher

Keim would have been able to convince Bidwill that bringing back a couple of BA’s favorites would be a nifty braiding of the present and the past. Plus, Keim would have been able to keep most of the assistant coaches he hired for Kingsbury’s staff. Bidwill would have been hugely on board with that.

2023 Free Agency:

Contract extensions:

  • WR DeAndre Hopkins
  • G Will Hernandez
  • S Budda Baker
  • DE Zach Allen
  • DT Tyrsten Hill
  • LB Ezekiel Turner
  • CB Byron Murphy
  • K Matt Prater
  • LS Aaron Brewer
  • P Andy Lee

One could rightfully ask, where would Keim find the cap space?

Keim would do what he typically did —- kick the cap hits down the road.

Outside Free Agents of Note:

  • G Aaron Stinnie, TB
  • CB Trey Flowers, CIN

2023 NFL Draft:

  • R1 —- Will Anderson Jr., OLB, Alabama
  • R2 —- John Michael-Schmitz, C, Minnesota
  • R3 —- Tyjae Spears, RB, Tulane
  • R3 (comp) —- Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
  • R$ —-Dawand Jones, T, Ohio St.
  • R5 (comp) —- Karl Brooks, DE, Western Kentucky
  • R6 —- Keondre Coburn, DT, Texas
  • R6 (comp) —- Dee Winters, LB, TCU

Note: For Keim, Anderson would have been a no brainer, especially after missing out a few years back on Nick Bosa. Schmitz too, for having missed out on Tyler Linderbaum. Keim would have very much liked Tyjae Spears to be the successor to Chase Edmonds, who was missed last year. And he would have gotten good value in developmental-type players Ringo, Dawand Jones, Brooks, Coburn and Winters.

The question would have been —- would Keim’s projected draft picks here have been in lock-step with the new coordinators, Leftwich and Bettcher?

Side By Side comparisons:

  • GM Keim —-Ossenfort
  • HC Joseph —-Gannon
  • OC Leftwich —- Petzing
  • DC Bettcher —- Rallis
  • STC Rodgers —- Rodgers

  • QB Murray —- Murray
  • RB Conner —- Conner
  • TE1 Ertz —- Ertz
  • TE2 McBride —- McBride
  • WR1 Hopkins —- Brown
  • WR2 Brown —- Moore
  • WR3 Moore —- Michael Wilson
  • LT Humphries —- Humphries
  • LG Stinnie —- Wilkinson
  • C Schmitz —- Froholdt
  • RG Hernandez —- Hernandez
  • RT Dawand Jones —- Paris Johnson

  • LOLB Williams —- Collins
  • LDE Lawrence —- Lawrence
  • NT Hill —- Watkins
  • RDE Allen —- Thomas
  • ROLB Sanders—- Ojulari
  • MLB Collins —— Woods
  • WLB Simmons —- White
  • LCB Murphy —- Garrett Williams
  • SS Thompson —- Thompson
  • FS Baker —- Baker
  • RCB Wilson —- Fenton
  • NCB Flowers —- Kei’Trel Clark

  • K Prater —- Prater
  • P Lee —- Haack
  • LS Brewer —- Brewer

2024 Draft Picks

  • R1 1 —- 2
  • R2 1 —- 1
  • R4 1 —- 3
  • R4 1 —- 2
  • R5 1 —- 2
  • R6 0 —- 0
  • R7 1 — 1

Total Picks 6 — 11

Time to Vote —- ROTB Poll:


If Michael Bidwill had retained Steve Keim as GM and these were the moves that Keim had managed to make —- taking into account all the considerations —-which Cardinals’ GM, would you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Steve Keim
    (15 votes)
  • 86%
    Monti Ossenfort
    (306 votes)
  • 1%
    Ian Cunningham
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Adrian Wilson
    (16 votes)
  • 0%
    Quentin Harris
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    (9 votes)
353 votes total Vote Now

How did you vote and why?