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Some are trying to suggest the Sean Kugler “mistaken identity” claim is a reference to Steve Keim

Mike Florio and Chris Simms unpack the news the Cardinals are losing their GM at a critical time and that VP of player personnel Quentin Harris and VP of pro personnel Adrian Wilson will handle his duties.

The Cardinals have had a very strange year. There’s a wrinkle to the latest strangeness that makes it even stranger.

Many first became aware that former Cardinals offensive line coach Sean Kugler has filed an arbitration claim against the team via a tweet from Brett McMurphy, a college football insider with Action Network. McMurphy retweeted the press release from the law firm representing Kugler, and McMurphy mentioned the “mistaken identity” suggestion from Kugler.

McMurphy then finished the thought (possibly), by raising the question of whether Kugler was mistaken for G.M. Steve Keim.

Doug Samuels of took things a step farther, in an article that points out Keim’s current leave of absence began the same day Kugler filed his arbitration claim.

The issue went next level when Ian Rapoport of NFL Media -- an outlet partially owned and operated by the Arizona Cardinals -- retweeted the article, with a side-by-side photo of Kugler and Keim.

That was the most jarring development. Rapoport first reported the Keim leave of absence. By retweeting an article that links Keim and Kugler, Rapoport arguably legitimizes a theory that currently has no basis in fact. Or maybe his intention was to shoot it all down.

Regardless, it’s all very strange.

It’s hard to imagine that the team would have made such a mistake, especially given the full-throated denial issued by the Cardinals in response to Kugler’s press release.

Then again, it’s the Cardinals. Given the never-ending rollercoaster that has been the 2022 calendar year, they entered the conversation for “most dysfunctional team in the NFL.”

If there’s truly nothing to the baseless speculation that someone may have mistaken Keim for Kugler, someone needs to say so, loudly and clearly and sooner than later.