Cardinals appoint Titans Director of Player Staff Monti Ossenfort as general manager

The Arizona Cardinals turned the tide of their disastrous 2022 season by hiring Monti Ossenfort as the team’s new general manager.

The franchise announced the hiring of Ossenfort on Monday, a week after owner Michael Bidwill announced head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim would not be returning after a terrible 4-13 season.

Ossenfort, 44, has spent the last three seasons as the director of player personnel for the Tennessee Titans. Before that, he spent 15 seasons with the New England Patriots and helped the franchise win four Super Bowls. In 21 seasons, his teams have made the playoffs 16 times.

The Arizona Cardinals turned the tide of their disastrous 2022 season by hiring Monti Ossenfort as the team's new general manager

The Arizona Cardinals turned the tide of their disastrous 2022 season by hiring Monti Ossenfort as the team’s new general manager

“It was vital for us to find the right person to lead us as general manager and I have no doubt that we have that at Monti Ossenfort,” Bidwill said in a statement. “He has all the attributes of a successful GM – passion, leadership, intelligence, work ethic – and his extensive experience clearly prepared him for this role. We couldn’t be more thrilled that Monti and his family are joining the Cardinals.’

Bidwill made the decision to leave the organization to replace Keim, who had been with the team since 1999 and the team’s general manager since 2013. Germ, 50, was placed on medical leave towards the end of last season, although the team never explained why.

Last week, Bidwill said he interviewed two internal candidates — Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris — for the GM job.

Ossenfort will be tasked with building a winning team around quarterback Kyler Murray, who signed a $230.5 million contract last offseason that could keep him in the franchise through 2028. Murray missed the final month of the season after torn the ACL in his right knee and could also miss the start of next season.

The Cardinals also have the No. 3 pick overall in the upcoming draft.

Cliff Kingsbury (right) was fired along with general manager Steve Keim (left) after the team's terrible 4-13 season, made worse by quarterback Kyler Murray's left knee cruciate ligament rupture. Germ has left the team for the past month

Cliff Kingsbury (right) was fired along with general manager Steve Keim (left) after the team’s terrible 4-13 season, made worse by quarterback Kyler Murray’s left knee cruciate ligament rupture. Keim left the team indefinitely last month due to “health reasons” but will not be returning to the Glendale, Arizona club

The Cardinals now replace Kingsbury, who had a 28-37-1 record during his four-year tenure. Bidwill said he would rather hire a general manager than find a coach.

Ossenfort is expected to be presented at the team facility on Tuesday.

It’s been a disappointing season for the Cardinals in many ways.

There was the surprise retirement of future Hall of Famer JJ Watt and serious injuries to Murray — the team’s franchise quarterback and one of the NFL’s highest-paid players — not to mention receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Offensive line coach Sean Kugler has been fired over allegations that he groped a woman during the team’s road trip to Mexico City, though he claims it was a case of “miscommunication or mistaken identity.” Kugler has retained a law firm to arbitrate on his behalf as he continues to deny the allegations against him.

As originally feared, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback tore the ACL in his left knee in a non-contact game in last month's loss to the New England Patriots

As originally feared, the Arizona Cardinals quarterback tore the ACL in his left knee in a non-contact game in last month’s loss to the New England Patriots

And then there’s the curious case of Keim, who took his mysterious absence from the team in mid-December, never to return.

Murray also had several side struggles with Kingsbury, once describing the team’s offense as “schematically F***ED” after a brutal loss in November.

The season started on a positive note as Murray agreed to remain in Arizona long-term.

The former Heisman winner and top overall draft pick signed a five-year, $230 million contract extension with the team ahead of the season that includes $160 million in guarantees.

But the contract raised eyebrows due to a “homework clause,” first revealed in August by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The “independent study addendum” required Murray to watch four hours of feature film per week throughout the season. Failure to comply would result in Murray being deemed “in default” under contract language.

After an uproar over the revelation, the team dropped the clause from his contract.

As revealed by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport Monday, the former Heisman winner's new five-year, $230 million contract includes an

As revealed by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport Monday, the former Heisman winner’s new five-year, $230 million contract includes an “independent study addendum” requiring him to review four hours of feature film per week throughout the season. Failure to comply would result in Murray being deemed “in default” under contract language

Murray has never been publicly accused of failing to prepare for opponents – a process that usually requires a significant amount of film study. In addition to watching the feature film, some quarterbacks also help produce customized versions for specific teammates that reflect their individual duties.

However, an old quote by Murray from a 2021 New York Times profile may be telling: “I think I was blessed with the cognitive abilities to just go out there and just see it before it happens. I’m not one of those guys who sit and kill themselves while watching movies. I don’t sit there 24 hours and dissect this team and that team and watch every game because I see so much in my head.

In any case, Murray remains entrenched as the Cardinals’ quarterback, that is, whenever he’s recovering from his major knee surgery.

Regarding Kingsbury, ESPN’s Adam Schefter said he expects the former Texas Tech quarterback to get more chances to find success in the NFL.

However, his track record at both the collegiate and pro levels is concerning given his teams have a reputation for dying out over the course of the year.

Over four years at Arizona and six more at Texas Tech, Kingsbury’s teams are 45-24-1 in the first seven games of the season but only 18-54 the rest of the way.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/nfl/article-11642581/Cardinals-Titans-director-player-personnel-Monti-Ossenfort-general-manager.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Cardinals appoint Titans Director of Player Staff Monti Ossenfort as general manager

Maureen Mackey

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