Dropping the Basket

Harry

ASFN Consultant and Senior Writer
Joined
Jan 7, 2003
Posts
9,705
Reaction score
18,556
Location
Orlando, FL
I used to preach that the concern with putting all your eggs in one basket was dropping the basket. Eventually I believe that plan of action doomed Steve Keim. Most observers believed Keim was weak as a decision maker with regard to draft selections. For a while he hit on signing free agents to make good contracts. However, the rest of the league caught on and outbid the frugal Cards. Through all this Keim was regarded as a great trader. It was literally his surviving grace.

He was the guy who secured Andre Hopkins, Carson Palmer, Chandler Jones, Marcus Cooper and Kenyan Drake at often astonishingly low cost. For example he secured Palmer and a 7th round pick for the Cards’ 6th & 7th round picks. Arians called that “the steal of the century.”

Then Keim dropped the basket. The Hopkins suspension triggered a series of descending quality trades that eventually smacked of desperation. The action began with the acquisition of Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. The hope was Brown would be a big play WR who would spread the field. He was also a security blanket for Murray because of their history of success. The price was a number one pick. In retrospect that seems high, but the hope was he could keep the Cards competitive until Hopkins’ return. Injuries kept the two from ever developing as a tandem. Brown was adequate but not explosive as a receiver. He was okay but the price for 2 years of guaranteed service proved an overpay. In fairness it’s worth noting it was a lousy draft for WRs by the time the Cards selected.

The next move was to strengthen the O-Line. Unfortunately Cody Ford’s addition did little to help that deficiency. Keim had ignored the line until late in the previous draft and when injuries struck (as they often do), Keim acted, just not effectively. He squandered a 5th round choice for a player who had trouble staying on the field the previous year. Unsurprisingly Ford couldn’t stay healthy in 2022 either. When he was on the field he had one good game, but for the most part was a failure as a solution.

Barely a week later Keim moved to solve another personnel shortage he’d failed to address in the draft. Keim swapped a conditional 6th or 7th pick for CB Trayvon Mullen. I openly criticized that choice at the time. Even for a late round pick this addition was a waste. Mullen had been spectacularly unsuccessful and the Cards unit was far to weak to cover his deficiencies. Add in the fact he was injured when he arrived and you have a complete panic move.

Then came what on paper didn’t look like a horrible exchange until Robbie Anderson got on the field. He was an unhappy player before he was traded and displayed little enthusiasm for the game after landing in AZ. Essentially getting low on 2023 picks Keim decided to weaken 2 future drafts by giving up low round picks. In the first 10 times Anderson was targeted he caught 2 passes. He improved slightly but essentially was a non-factor. Once a thousand yard receiver, Anderson gave the Cards 76 yards in 10 games.

Keim gave away portions of the Cards’ future away in the grip of fear. He could see the season slipping away. He could hear the criticism intensifying. Apparently the stress got to him and he took leave before the season ended. It was surely in his best interest as it saved him the humiliation of being fired.
 

Totally_Red

Air Raid Warning!
Joined
Apr 26, 2005
Posts
8,116
Reaction score
2,769
Location
Iowa
Thanks! It is a very good analysis of the dearly departed GM. He started off Ok with B.A. as coach. But as the coaching staff descended into one of the worst in the league, so did he.
 

slanidrac16

ASFN Icon
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Posts
13,636
Reaction score
11,329
Location
Plainfield, Il.
Keims first mistake was his evaluation of this team. He actually believed this team was a playoff team.
Every move he made after that was an attempt to cling to his beliefs.
As far as his trades they were a result of his failures in the draft and signings. Everyone knows you can’t build a team with quality free agents. It’s not sustainable. You need to draft well which was Keims biggest failure.
And here we are.
 
Last edited:

dreamcastrocks

Chopped Liver Moderator
Super Moderator
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2005
Posts
43,848
Reaction score
8,025
Keims first mistake was his evaluation of this team. He actually believed this team was a playoff team.
Every move he made after that was an attempt to cling to his beliefs.
As far as his trades they were a result of his failures in the draft and signings. Everyone knows you can build a team with quality free agents. It’s not sustainable. You need to draft well which was Keims biggest failure.
And here we are.
I thought this could have been a playoff team until they lost against Seattle week 6. If they could have made it to 3-3 without D-Hop, they could have been primed.

That lost was the biggest one of the season and foretold everything to follow. Injuries definitely played their part too, but that Seattle game (like the Detroit game last year) was too much to come back from.
 

MaoTosiFanClub

The problem
Joined
Oct 7, 2003
Posts
12,243
Reaction score
4,768
Location
Scottsdale, AZ
Keim had to trade because he always built thin rosters. We’ve been too top heavy since he started gaining prominence in the FO.
 

slanidrac16

ASFN Icon
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Posts
13,636
Reaction score
11,329
Location
Plainfield, Il.
I thought this could have been a playoff team until they lost against Seattle week 6. If they could have made it to 3-3 without D-Hop, they could have been primed.

That lost was the biggest one of the season and foretold everything to follow. Injuries definitely played their part too, but that Seattle game (like the Detroit game last year) was too much to come back from.
Many, including me thought 6 wins MAYBE 7 at best.
 

vince56

ASFN Addict
Joined
Sep 15, 2002
Posts
8,868
Reaction score
1,576
Location
Arizona
I thought this could have been a playoff team until they lost against Seattle week 6. If they could have made it to 3-3 without D-Hop, they could have been primed.

That lost was the biggest one of the season and foretold everything to follow. Injuries definitely played their part too, but that Seattle game (like the Detroit game last year) was too much to come back from.
I was super nervous going into the season with the lines and DBs. Skill positions looked OK, but both lines looked to be either aging or absolute sieves, and it felt really odd they didn't address either in the offseason. The CBs wound up being better than I expected, but the DL and OL were even worse than I thought they'd be. You don't eat an apple with a rotten core, and you don't build a football team without big guys that can move people.
 
Top