Arians, Keim get contract extensions from Cardinals through 2018

The Cardinals have gone 21-11 since promoting Steve Keim (right) to general manager and hiring Bruce Arians as head coach in January 2013.

Matt Kartozian/Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Cardinals found a way to keep their longtime face of the franchise, Larry Fitzgerald, in the fold last week. Now they’ve extended the contracts for the architects of this rapid, two-year turnaround.

The Cardinals announced on Monday that they had extended the contracts of head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim through the end of the 2018 season, with fifth-year options for 2019.

Both will discuss those deals at a press conference on Tuesday at the team’s headquarters in Tempe.

"Two years ago, we hired Steve and Bruce a few days apart and believed we had something really special" Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said in a prepared release. "Every day since then, they have done nothing but validate that belief. 

"The team’s performance over the last two seasons certainly reflects how talented they are in their respective roles, and it was important that we reward them for their accomplishments. I speak not only for myself but all Cardinals fans when I say how thrilled we all are that Steve and Bruce are now under contract through 2018."

Arians has a 21-11 record in two seasons as head coach and was named the Associated Press Coach of the Year for 2014 as the Cardinals overcame a succession of injuries to impact players to end a five-year playoff drought with an 11-5 record. The 11 wins tied a franchise record for most wins in a season and the 21 wins over the past two seasons ties the franchise record for consecutive seasons. 

The Cardinals had the best record in the NFL before losing starting quarterback Carson Palmer to injury nine games into the season, then lost backup Drew Stanton to injury in Week 15. Arians joins Don Coryell as the only coach in franchise history with back-to-back seasons with 10 or more victories.

Keim has spent 16 years with the organization and was promoted to general manager in January 2013. Prior to becoming general manager, Keim was the team’s vice president of player personnel. As GM, he’s been responsible for 410 roster moves in his two seasons at the helm. Of the 53 players on the Cardinals roster at the end of the 2014 season, 40 were acquired during Keim’s tenure as GM.

Keim had two years remaining on his previous contract while Arians had three, including an option for 2017. Financial terms of the new deals were not released but NFL sources said the previous contracts fell in the lower quarter of the league’s salaries for those positions.

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