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NFL Franchise Notes: Future of Cardinals coach/GM tandem unclear

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury and GM Steve Keim seemed a lock for rich extensions when team started 7-0 before late-season collapseGetty Images

In Phoenix, Bob McManaman writes following the Cardinals' "second-half collapse of a season," it "remains anyone’s guess if there will be changes made" regarding coach Kliff Kingsbury and/or GM Steve Keim. Former team website writer Kyle Odegard on Twitter wrote there was a “tense meeting” between Cardinals Owner Michael Bidwill, Keim and Kingsbury on Wednesday. Odegard citing an unnamed source wrote that Bidwill was "very unhappy with the late-season slide and apparently intimated that changes were possible." Not long after Odegard’s tweet, however, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport "sent out one of his own saying, 'There has been no meeting.'" Kingsbury has "one more year left on his contract" and the Cardinals "hold a fifth-year option" for '23. As for Keim, he is "under contract through next season." Before the team’s "epic slide," it seemed a "lock that both men would receive relatively rich extensions" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 1/21).

NO PRESSURE: In California, Gilbert Manzano writes Chargers GM Tom Telesco on Thursday during his end-of-season news conference "didn’t sound like a GM who was feeling the pressure of needing to produce at a quicker pace for job security." He also "disagreed with the narrative that he needed to strike now to capitalize on the few years he has left to operate" with QB Justin Herbert on his rookie deal before the "massive bill of the second contract is due." The Chargers "took steps forward" during Telesco’s ninth season, but most GMs "don’t have the luxury of running an NFL franchise at a marathon runner’s pace." It appears Chargers Owner Dean Spanos and his son, President of Football Operations John Spanos, "will give Telesco an opportunity to pull away from the middle of the pack" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 1/21).

JUSTIFIED CRITICISM: In Houston, Jerome Solomon notes Texans GM Nick Caserio in a radio interview called media reports criticizing Exec VP/Football Operations Jack Easterby “unjust.” Caserio understandably would "stand up for his friend and longtime colleague" with the Patriots. Solomon: "But Caserio is wrong. Period." Easterby is "not an innocent bystander in the Texans debacle." He is "on the Mount Rushmore of Texans failure." His is the "face of incompetence, ineffectiveness and ineptitude" for a team that is "at its lowest." Easterby "helped usher in the era of apathy," when a "significant number of otherwise faithful fans decided to stay away and withhold support" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/21).

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