ARIZONA CARDINALS

Blake Shelton kisses rather than strangles Cardinals GM Steve Keim

Apr 25, 2019, 12:07 PM | Updated: Apr 26, 2019, 8:21 am
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Singer Blake Shelton has that country twang, but that twang might’ve ended up around Cardinals GM Steve Keim’s neck if Arizona didn’t do what its high-profile fan wanted.

It went from a potential strangling to a lot of loving.

Shelton, an Ada, Okla., native, made it clear on Thursday that he has a favorite prospect in the 2019 NFL Draft: Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Kyler Murray. With that, Shelton strongly urged Keim to do the right thing with the No. 1 selection.

Keim obliged, taking Murray to lead off the draft.

Shelton had a few photos ready in celebration, though we wouldn’t guess he was at Cardinals headquarters during the draft.

Leading into the draft, many believed Arizona would select Murray, but Arizona remained in contact with agents for defensive lineman Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams just hours before they were set to make their selection, according to multiple reports.

But Shelton’s initial threat might hold some symbolic value even after Arizona drafted Murray.

Keim, after all, was forced to fire his second head-coaching hire made since taking over the front office of the Cardinals. Arizona relieved Steve Wilks of his duties after a 3-13 season in 2018 and replaced him with a controversial choice in Kliff Kingsbury.

The new head coach’s offense and relationship with Murray played a large part in the Heisman winner landing in the desert.

Kingsbury only has college coaching experience, and selecting Murray very well will make or break Keim’s job security by the end of the 2019 season.

No, Blake Shelton probably wouldn’t have acted on his threat. It’s just a good reminder about how important this draft is for Keim and the Cardinals franchise as a whole.

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