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Cardinals GM Keim: Team does not need a complete revamp to get better

David Johnson and his Arizona Cardinals teammates visited the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. (Associated Press)
LISTEN: Steve Keim, Cardinals general manager

As the general manager of the Arizona Cardinals, Steve Keim doesn’t have much time to relish in the present — no matter how good it might be.

So, as the 2016 season seems to have just about slipped away, he told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that he started thinking about the 2017 campaign back in 2015.

“There’s always, from my standpoint, I’ve got to look at it from a three-year view, whether it’s a cap situation or whether it’s just where we are from a roster standpoint,” he said. “When you look at age, when you look at contractual situations.”

The fourth-year GM who has constructed some of the best teams in franchise history added he is always thinking about the next season, though right now he’s most concerned with trying to get a win this next Sunday at home against the Washington Redskins.

If the Cardinals can emerge with a victory, their playoff dreams will last for at least another week. A loss in Glendale, however, would just about be the nail in the coffin.

Even with a win, however, their season would at best remain on life support, and Keim understands his job is also to look at the roster’s construction, with an eye toward the next draft and free agency period.

Keim has never really been one to let the roster get stale, but to say it will look different next year might be a bit of an understatement. As of now, the team is set to have 20 unrestricted free agents, as well as a couple more who are of the restricted variety.

Many of the players who are going to need new contracts are starters and key contributors, so it figures that Keim would like to bring some of them back. But this is the NFL, and it would be naive to think everyone will return.

It would also be wrong to assume Keim will want a team that underachieved and will likely fall short of the playoffs to come back in-tact, so suffice to say moves will be made.

Where exactly the team needs to improve, however, is up to Keim to decide, though a case can be made for improvements along the offensive line and at wide receiver.

“The good news is, I really do feel like there are enough good, quality, core pieces in place, not only contractually, but with age, that we have a nice core of defenders, and I think we have some talent on offense,” he said. “So whatever happens after the season, whether it’s players moving on or continue to stay, whatever it may be, I don’t think it’s a situation where it’s a complete revamp of this team to make it better.

“I think it’s going to be some different pieces and we’ll continue to stay aggressive. I can tell you, as disappointing as things are, I’ve never been more excited to continue to try to improve this team and put this organization in a good position to succeed.”

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