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Steve Keim: Chasing Free Agents And 'Get-Off-The-Couch' Money

GM says he is happy with way QB Kyler Murray has responded after contract

With the Cardinals heading into Week 2 of the season, GM Steve Keim said the team will "remain active" in looking for potential veteran help for the roster. But there are factors, and they likely have played into the fact the Cards have yet to sign anyone off the street this week.

"Number one is health," Keim said during an appearance on the "Burns and Gambo" show on Arizona Sports 98.7. "And number two is what I call get-off-the-couch money. A lot of times these guys have made an exorbitant amount of money, and don't want to come in and play for the minimum or slightly above. Where most teams are with at a cap standpoint, which we are right around the average of NFL teams, you have to budget 'x' amount for injury replacements and those sorts of things, so you have to have some of these veteran players want to get off the couch for about a minimum deal plus incentives."

Keim talked about when the Cardinals signed pass rusher Dwight Freeney in 2015 when the team was spending the week at The Greenbrier in West Virginia. Freeney signed for the minimum and then made a lot of money in incentives by piling up sacks.

"Guys like that, who are fierce competitors who just want to be part of a team, you have opportunity," Keim said. "But some guys, it is more of a monetary thing, and maybe they don't feel great physically. You have to vet the process."

-- The GM said he is proud with how quarterback Kyler Murray has responded after signing his giant contract extension before training camp.

"I know a number of times, when people talk about young players getting new contracts, how they respond," Keim said. "I will tell you straight up the guy has been phenomenal. He's been vocal, he's been energetic, and he's done all the right things."

-- With cornerback specifically, Keim said Treyvon Mullen has looked "fantastic" and will be back either this weekend or next. Keim added "I do feel better about that position."

-- Keim addressed the question of the team being prepared and if the Cardinals might have benefitted from preseason game action.

"Obviously, the way we played would bring up a lot of reasons to question it," Keim said. "Last year we practiced very similar and started 7-0. But again the way we played, it would give us reason to look into it a little deeper."

Keim noted that the Cardinals -- like many teams -- use technology to measure player work and their steps to try and keep guys as fresh as possible.

"After the way a number of those quarterbacks (who sat out the preseason) played the first week it would give you reason to believe there would be a lot of benefit of playing in the preseason," Keim said. "But again, it's something we'll have to look into more at length."

-- The offensive line will come out ahead if Justin Pugh is able to play this week, of which Keim sounded optimistic. He also said he thought center Rodney Hudson just had an off game trying to "get back in the flow" in Week 1. "His history tells me he's going to bounce back," Keim said.

-- Keim said he thinks the pass rush will be better as Markus Golden gets more snaps. He also praised Dennis Gardeck's effort in Week 1 and said because he played so well he expected Gardeck to get more than 20 defensive snaps this week.

-- The use of veteran linebacker Devon Kennard off the practice squad will be dependent on the game plan each week, Keim said.

-- Keim emphasized the need to get tight end Zach Ertz more involved, especially with Ertz apparently healed from his calf injury. He also hopes A.J. Green is more of the offense as well.