Cardinals extend contracts of coach Arians, GM Keim
PHOENIX (AP) After consecutive seasons with double-digit wins, the Arizona Cardinals have extended the contracts of coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim.
The new deals put the pair under contract through the 2018 season with a team option for 2019.
Under Keim and Arians, the Cardinals went 10-6 in 2013, then 11-5 last season, earning a wild card playoff berth.
”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 statement. ”Every day since then, they have done nothing but validate that belief.”
Arians was NFL coach of the year last season, the second time he has received the award in three years. He won it for the 2012 season when he served as interim coach of the Indianapolis Colts while Chuck Pagano battled leukemia. Pro Football Talk named Keim NFL executive of the year each of the last two seasons.
Under their previous agreements, both were under contract through 2016, with a team option for Arians in 2017.
Terms were not revealed, but obviously both deals have substantial pay raises.
The 62-year-old Arians was a longtime assistant coach before finally getting his chance for the top job. He was offensive coordinator of the Colts when Pagano became ill. The Colts were 9-3 in the 12 games that Arians was interim head coach.
Blunt and often humorous, with his trademark Kangol hat, Arians is the first Cardinals coach to have 10-win seasons in each of his first two years as coach.
Keim, 42, worked in the Cardinals organization for 15 seasons and was player personnel director before being promoted to the GM job. He made wholesale roster changes from a 2012 team that went 5-11 and lost 11 of its last 12 games, a season that led to the firing of coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves.
Of the 53 players on the roster at the end of the 2014 season, 40 were acquired by Keim as general manager. The roster included 13 of the team’s 15 draft picks over the past two years.
In Keim’s first season as general manager, Arizona made 193 roster moves.
Arians and Keim were not available Monday because they were returning from the NFL combine. They were to appear at a news conference Tuesday.
Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP-NFL