Cardinals president Michael Bidwill (left) has given contract extensions to coach Bruce Arians (center) and General Manager Steve Keim.
New contracts for his head coach and general manager were inevitable, Cardinals president Michael Bidwill knew. He just needed to get in the same place with both and talk it out.
That happened over the weekend in Indianapolis, where Bidwill finally got the chance to sit down with Bruce Arians and Steve Keim. After that, it didn't take much conversation to lock up both.
The Cardinals announced new contracts with both Keim and Arians Monday, extending each through the 2018 season and
giving both significant raises. The team also holds an option for 2019 for both men. Arians' previous contract had a team option for 2017; Keim's deal was through 2016.
"I'm like the fans, I want stability and we are going in the right direction and also reward them for our past successes," Bidwill said in a phone interview. "We've had tremendous success. What Steve has done as general manager and Bruce has done as head coach speaks for itself. They've been recognized in the industry as two of the best, and I wanted to reward them and extend them."
Arians and Keim are scheduled for a press conference Tuesday to discuss the new deals.
Keim is entering his 17th season with the Cardinals as well as his third as GM. Rising through the ranks, Keim went from scout to director of college scouting to director of player personnel to vice president of player personnel before reaching his current post.
The Cardinals have made 410 roster moves under Keim in fashioning double-digit wins in each of the past two seasons. His most recent success was not a roster move but avoiding one, getting a new two-year contract done with veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
"I'm living out my dream," Keim said last week on the subject of his impending contract extension. "Here I am, the son of
a machinist, running a football team in the NFL. I'm humbled by it and appreciative of the opportunity. What makes it special is seeing where this organization started and what it has become."
Arians was named Associated Press Coach of the Year for 2014 after the Cardinals went 11-5 this season despite multiple injuries – including losing quarterback Carson Palmer for 10 games. He joined Don Coryell as the only coaches in franchise history to post back-to-back seasons of at least 10 wins. His Coach of the Year award was his second in three years, with Arians having also won it in 2012 as interim head coach of the Colts when Chuck Pagano was ill.
That doesn't mean Arians thinks he has reached coaching perfection, however.
"You have to get better, you have to work every single day," Arians said. "You can't relax in this business. Like I've always said, it's a real short elevator ride back down. Enjoy (the accolades), but don't ever believe it."
Bidwill said he was just happy to have the biggest things on the offseason to-do list out of the way with free agency beginning in a couple of weeks.
"We want to build upon what we did in 2013 and 2014 and we expect great things in 2015," Bidwill said. "We are getting ready for free agency and I want to make sure we are prepared with a lot of these things behind us so we can really concentrate on free agency and the draft. That's the focus right now. With Larry's deal we were able to clear some cap space, his new deal gives us flexibility to be aggrressive in free agency, which we intend to be."
Images of General Manager Steve Keim, who received a contract extension on Monday