Steve Keim appears in line to become the Arizona Cardinals' next general manager, succeeding Rod Graves.
That is the word from Albert Breer and Kent Somers.
Good luck evaluating the job Keim has done since hiring on with the Cardinals in 1999. He's been the team's vice president of player personnel most recently, but lots of people have contributed to the player evaluation process in Arizona over the years.
Graves had been with the team since 1997. He had worked in the personnel department since 2003. Team president Michael Bidwill is involved in some decisions. Former coach Ken Whisenhunt and staff have influenced decisions over the years. Whisenhunt gained stronger control over the roster in recent seasons.
Calais Campbell, Daryl Washington and Patrick Peterson are three recent Arizona draft choices any personnel analyst would love to claim as his own. On the other hand, only four Cardinals players have achieved Pro Bowl status, a figure tied with Cleveland for last in the NFL. Division rivals San Francisco and Seattle have a combined 30.
Keim supposedly wanted the Cardinals to draft Adrian Peterson instead of Levi Brown in 2007. He supposedly preferred Jay Cutler to Matt Leinart a year earlier. I do not recall anyone going on the record to say these things, but they've become part of the public conversation regarding the Cardinals.
Keim's promotion could affect the team's plans for a head coach.
Keim worked with one candidate, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley, when Haley was with the Cardinals. Keim's agent, Bob LaMonte, represents another Cardinals coaching candidate, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. These types of connections can influence decisions.