The Cardinals announced they have signed General Manager Steve Keim to a contract extension that will keep him with the team through 2022.
Keim’s extension comes a month after the team signed new head coach Steve Wilks to a four-year contract with a team option for a fifth year. Keim, who had one year remaining on his current deal, plus a team option for another season after that, is now under contract for essentially the same number of years as Wilks.
The Cardinals have gone 49-30-1 with two playoff appearances during Keim’s five seasons as GM. Only four of his NFL counterparts have won more regular-season games than Keim during that span – New England’s Bill Belichick, Seattle’s John Schneider, Pittsburgh’s Kevin Colbert and Denver’s John Elway.
“Steve’s performance and accomplishments as Cardinals GM speak for themselves,” Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said in a statement. “His role in the team’s success over the last five seasons is undeniable. This new contract ensures that he will continue to shape our success going forward and we are thrilled about that.”
Keim’s track record with the Cardinals
Keim was named the 2014 Sporting News NFL Executive of the Year and earned NFL Executive of the Year honors from Pro Football Talk in back-to-back seasons (2013-14).
The teams put together by Keim during his tenure as GM have been some of the most successful in franchise history. In 2014, the Cardinals tied the franchise record for wins in a season (11) before setting a new mark the following year in 2015 with 13 wins and its first-ever postseason bye.
Keim joined the franchise as a college scout in 1999. In 2006, he was promoted to Director of College Scouting and two years later, was elevated to Director of Player Personnel. In 2013, he was promoted to General Manager when the team hired Bruce Arians as head coach.
This is Keim’s second contract extension since becoming GM, as he also signed a four-year extension with a team option back on Feb. 23, 2015.
After the Cardinals dropped to 6-8 this past season, thus assuring themselves of a non-winning season, Keim apologized to fans and promised things will be different in 2018.
“I apologize to our fans and everybody in our organization,” Keim said during his weekly radio appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “Moving forward, we have a lot of work to do. It’s going to be a busy offseason. … I promise the product on the field in 2018 will finish much stronger.”
Cardinals still need a quarterback
One of Keim’s biggest tasks remains identifying and acquiring a new starting quarterback for the team. The Cardinals have no quarterbacks on their roster signed for next season.
Keim has missed on some draft picks, but he also engineered trades that brought Palmer and outside linebacker Chandler Jones to Arizona and has been successful at addressing weaknesses during a season.
The team spent millions on upgrades to its training facility and University of Phoenix Stadium, and at Keim’s urging five years ago, Bidwill agreed to substantially expand the team’s pro scouting department.
“Five years ago we started with no head coach and no quarterback,” Keim said last month, “and I feel like that ended up pretty good. I think that’s the way we need to approach this this time around.”
The Cardinals on Monday signed free agent cornerback Lou Young to a one-year contract. Young, 6-1, 205, played in six games for the Panthers in 2016 after entering the NFL with the Broncos in 2014 as an undrafted rookie out of Georgia Tech.
He spent his rookie season on the practice squads of the Broncos, Ravens, Jaguars and Panthers before splitting the 2015 season between Carolina’s active roster and the practice squad. He spent the 2017 preseason with the Redskins until being released on Aug. 3.
Young, 26, played in 49 games while at Georgia Tech, finishing his career with 134 tackles, four interceptions, 12 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
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