Steve Keim is the best GM in football and it is not even close.
With hundreds of roster moves at the back end of the roster, finding veteran diamonds in the rough, and keeping the core players happy and paid, he is killing it.
His first extension to get done this training camp, may be the most exciting. Honey badger is a once in lifetime talent and is a redemption story for the ages.
It was not a straight forward negotiation with both sides working to get what was best. You can tell that Tyrann was frustrated with the process, but in the end both sides knew it would happen.
Money mean nothing, I want my respect
— Tyrann Mathieu (@Mathieu_Era) July 26, 2016
The relationship between Tyrann Mathieu and the Cardinals is probably the symbiotic player/organization pairing in the league. Mathieu’s troubles prior to the NFL are well chronicled, but it is not as well known of a story about how he has become who he is today. When the Peterson’s (Patrick and his father) moved Mathieu into their home, it gave him the structure that he needed. Players like Rashad Johnson, Jarrod Powers, Darnell Dockett and most importantly Peterson all helped to provide guidance and support to a kid that was willing to listen and learn.
Tyrann treated his issue with Marijuana seriously and put his heart into the process. He had a pragmatic look at the mistakes he made. It slandered his name and cost him millions of dollars.
Steve Keim said this week there was a time that he looked at Mathieu’s name in his draft board and thought “there is no way”. But, Steve Keim is also the same guy that said if Hannibal Lecture could run a 4.3 forty, he would classify it a eating disorder. So it makes sense that as he watched more and more film of Mathieu that he was willing to learn more about him.
Keim also recently told a story about taking Mathieu to dinner and Keim’s six year old son was there and told his dad that Honey Badger was the real deal.
Hindsight is able to show us that Mathieu is the type of player and in this case more importantly the type of man the Cardinals needed. Taking risks and coming out ahead on this gives the team confidence to take chances on other players like Robert Nkemdiche, which could pay off big again for Keim.
These risks don’t always work out. The Cardinals know all too well what can happen if a player can’t get past issues with marijuana. Darryl Washington was one of the most promising up and coming players in the league before getting suspended indefinitely in 2013. He has still yet to be reinstated and is still on the Cardinals roster.
There is also defensive lineman Randy Gregory from the Cowboys, a team famous for taking risks on players as well. Gregory also had issues documented before the draft, but unlike Mathieu he has just been suspended for the first four games of this season.
So, as fan of him as person and a player, congrats to Tryann and his family. Hopefully, Arizona will be your home for life.
Then the other big news from the week, was extending both Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald by a year.
This is a sign that BA and Keim believe the window for a super bowl is two years and not a one time, go big or go home year that this year has been shaping up to be.
This somewhat silences the questions about Fitz’ potential retirement. I have not looked at what this does to their cap number for the next two years, but you have to believe that this was also done in part to address resigning Chandler Jones next year.
It is widely anticipated that the Cardinals will use the franchise tag on Jones, to lock him up, but will need to come to an agreement before the season. Jones most likely won’t play on his tagged contract number if he has a big year.
This is a really great job of Keim identifying and solidifying a core of players that will keep the Cardinals competing for at least a couple more years.
In Keim we trust.