ARIZONA CARDINALS

Kingsbury on reported rift with Cardinals owner: ‘WWE element’ to rumors

Mar 3, 2022, 12:00 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury considers himself a big wrestling fan.

Growing up with his older brother, the Saturday night main event on WWE was a weekly occurrence at the Kingsbury home.

Fast forward to his NFL coaching days, and it appears Kingsbury is seeing some comparisons between wrestling and the league from an entertainment standpoint. Especially lately, given how the Cardinals finished the season as well as the continued offseason saga between the team and quarterback Kyler Murray over a contract extension.

“It was a tough ending, there’s no doubt, but a lot of that stuff if you read, there is a WWE element to it,” Kingsbury told the Pat McAfee Show on Thursday. “There’s some drama, there’s some stuff that we’ll read that’s absolutely incorrect. We were upset but patched it out, everything’s good, excited about next year.”

Of the reports that have come out since the team’s second-half skid that ended with a lackluster showing in the team’s NFC Wild Card round loss to the Los Angeles Rams, the alleged “tense meeting” between Kingsbury, general manager Steve Keim and owner Michael Bidwill was an instance mentioned while on with McAfee.

For Kingsbury, it’s about having a news filter on at all times.

“I pretty much let most of it go,” Kingsbury said. “If you address it, sometimes you give it wings and it almost looks like you’re denying or worried about it. We haven’t had too much that has gotten out of control.

“When you see things like after the season you’re about to get fired, had some huge blowup with the owner and it’s just completely false, you’re like, ‘I don’t know where they got that from,'” Kingsbury said.

Meeting or not, it’s clear Bidwill entrusts Kingsbury with the team moving forward, rewarding the head coach — and Keim — with a contract extension on Wednesday that runs through 2027 after three consecutive seasons of improvement in the win-loss column.

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