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Steve Keim: On Chandler Jones, 'We're Not In the Business Of Getting Rid Of Good Football Players'

On Peterson return, 'we have to make tough decisions'

Steve Keim wasn't getting into any private conversations he's had with Chandler Jones (or his agent) about Jones' potential contract extension or one-time trade request (although the Cardinals GM had to know the question was coming after Jones himself told the media to ask Keim himself about details of the trade situation.)

"Any conversations with our players and specific agents remain confidential," Keim said Friday during an appearance on the "Burns and Gambo" show in 98.7, Arizona's Sports Station.

As far as Jones potentially getting a new contract, Keim joked that Jones -- who had patted Keim's coat on the sideline in a humorous gesture that he was looking for money -- was "rubbing the wrong pockets."

"We're not in the business of moving on and getting rid of good football players," Keim said. "That's a pretty easy answer."

That doesn't mean, however, an extension is necessarily imminent.

"You always want to get good players under contract," Keim said. "But there are always a million different moving parts. I have to continue to look at the roster moving forward, generally from a three-year standpoint."

Keim also praise Jones for the work that went into coming back from his 2020 biceps injury.

"I can't be more proud of a player than I am of Chandler Jones," Keim said. "The way he came back from that bicep injury. He came to camp in probably the best shape of his career. Really lean, you can see it in his play, his explosiveness, his first step, his repertoire of pass rush moves. He came back with a vengeance."

-- With Patrick Peterson returning -- and Peterson criticized Keim harshly in the offseason after the Cardinals let Peterson leave as a free agent -- Keim just sees it as the business of the league.

"If you want to win a popularity contest, don't become a general manager in the National Football League," Keim said, noting he cut "one of my best friends in life" Adrian Wilson from the roster a month into his tenure as a GM.

"We have to make tough decisions," he added. "Sometimes business decisions become personal, and it's unfortunate.."

-- The veterans on the team are important, but Keim was enthused about the play of guys on their rookie contracts, players like Byron Murphy, Isaiah Simmons, Jalen Thompson, Leki Fotu, Zach Allen and Rashard Lawrence, among others. "To have sustained success, you have to have contributors that are in their first two, three, four years," Keim said.

-- Simmons' big first game is a direct reflection of his snaps as a rookie and having an offseason on the field. "You have to have some time of the job to acquire that experience and take it to the next level."

-- Rookie cornerback Marco Wilson continues to impress Keim after his showing in the opener. "The things he does as a rookie have been extremely exciting and he'll continue to grow from experience."

-- Receivers like Christian Kirk and Rondale Moore can play outside, Keim said, but "you'd like to have them inside, because that's really where they can flourish."

GM Steve Keim talks with WR Christian Kirk before a preseason game in 2021
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