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Kliff Kingsbury, The Future, And 49ers Aftermath

Kliff Kingsbury wasn't going to say much because there isn't much to say. Not yet. The Cardinals coach was asked again if he had any assurances of his job moving forward, now that the 2022 season is complete, and Kingsbury said that conversation was not yet had.

Every season after it's over, Kingsbury said, he meets with owner Michael Bidwill and "I'm sure (Monday) just like every year we will get together."

There has been much speculation locally and nationally what might happen with Kingsbury, of the GM spot with Steve Keim still on a medical leave. But until Bidwill makes his plans known, Kingsbury moves forward as he can.

He knows a 4-13 season isn't good enough.

"This was one of those seasons where there was no hiding from where it was at," he acknowledged.

Kingsbury said he was disappointed for the players. But for himself? It is "motivation to be a lot better moving forward," he said. "As a competitor that's the first thing you think of."

We will see Monday what that might mean for the Cardinals.

-- The Cardinals will pick third in April's draft, after losing and the Broncos winning. It's a prime spot, potentially with a chance to pick the best non-quarterback in the draft.

-- J.J. Watt isn't the only Cardinal who will retire this offseason, although none of the handful of other guys who might have made any final decision. One who could is wide receiver A.J. Green, and the Cardinals gave him a sendoff but drawing up a throwback deep pass from David Blough to Green that worked for a 77-yard touchdown to open the game.

-- The 77 yards on one catch was the longest Cardinals play of the season (by 30 yards) and bested Green's top single game total this year by 27. He only had 145 yards receiving all year. When he was at 95 yards early in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals tried to get him a 100-yard game. But a screen lost four yards, and another pass from Trace McSorley that would've gotten the yards wasn't on target – it didn't look like he and Green were on the same page – and was intercepted. Green finished with 91 yards.

"We tried," Kingsbury said. "But (A.J. was) a consummate professional and one of the great wide receivers of the last however many years. Just couldn't be more impressed with how he handled this season."

-- It was a great end to Watt's career. Couldn't have drawn it up much better -- except for the final score. His has been a great story. The one thing he kept emphasizing after the game: How appreciative and thankful he is for everyone, from the fans to all the people behind the scenes, for his career and the life he's gotten to live.

-- Kicker Matt Prater earned an extra $250,000 escalator for making at least 83 percent of his field goals this season. He finished 22-of-25 (83 percent) after not trying a field goal Sunday. Watt already had earned $1 million extra this season for reaching 10 sacks. He got the final $100,000 last week when he took down Desmond Ridder in Atlanta.

-- The lack of work for rookie Keaontay Ingram was interesting. The Cardinals kept him as a fifth running back because they were so high on him early in the season. The other four guys at that point weren't playing for the Cardinals by now because of injury or release.

-- The Cardinals tweaked the contracts of both Watt and center Rodney Hudson last week. The Watt move added a year to his deal in order to allow him, even in retirement, to split up the $7.2 million of dead cap space he was going to leave. This way the Cardinals can take $2.4 million next season and $4.8 in 2024. Hudson lowered his 2023 salary to just over $2 million, which reported was the max able to be collected on injury protection. For those moves, both will be officially designated as June 1 releases.

-- There is a lot that will happen in the offseason. This is enough for tonight. Another season in the books – No. 23 for me covering this team. Thanks for reading my stuff and following along. We'll see where it all goes from here.