By DAVID BRANDT
Associated Press Sports Writer
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have hired Monti Ossenfort as the team’s new general manager.
The franchise announced the hiring of Ossenfort on Monday, one week after owner Michael Bidwill announced that head coach Kliff Kingsbury and general manager Steve Keim would not return following a dreadful 4-13 season.
The 44-year-old Ossenfort has spent the past three seasons as director of player personnel for the Tennessee Titans. Before that, he spent 15 seasons with the New England Patriots, helping the franchise win four Super Bowls. In 21 seasons, his teams have made the playoffs 16 times.
“It was critically important for us to find the right person to lead us as general manager and there is no doubt in my mind that we have that in Monti Ossenfort,” Bidwill said in a statement. “He possesses every attribute of a successful GM — passion, leadership, intelligence, work ethic — and his extensive experience has clearly prepared him for this role. We could not be more thrilled to have Monti and his family joining the Cardinals.”
Bidwill made the decision to go outside the organization to replace Keim, who had been with the team since 1999 and was the team’s general manager since 2013. The 50-year-old Keim took a medical leave of absence near the end of the past season, though the team never elaborated on the reason.
Last week, Bidwill said he had interviewed two internal candidates — Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris — for the GM job.
Ossenfort will be charged with building a winning team around quarterback Kyler Murray, who signed a $230.5 million contract last offseason that could keep him with the franchise through 2028. Murray missed the final month of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee and could also miss the beginning of next season.
The Cardinals also have the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft.
The Cardinals now turn to replacing Kingsbury, who had a 28-37-1 record during his four-year tenure. Bidwill said it was his preference to hire a general manager before finding a coach.
Ossenfort is expected to be introduced on Tuesday at the team facility.