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Steve Keim: Kyler Murray got me an extension, Nick Bosa would’ve gotten me fired

Mike Florio and Chris Simms map out the Cardinals’ options for the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and discuss how flying out to support Kyler Murray at a critical time for draft prep could affect things.

Former Cardinals G.M. Steve Keim has been making the media rounds in the run-up to the draft. And he’s said a few interesting things. The most interesting thing perhaps came on Tuesday, during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.

Last week, Keim disclosed that, before the 2019 draft, 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa said if the Cardinals take quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall selection, Bosa “will haunt you for the rest of your career.” Asked today whether Keim would still take Murray over Bosa, Keim said this: “Well, Kyler got me an extension. Nick Bosa probably would have gotten me fired.”

Keim said it with a laugh, but then he turned serious when Dan Patrick pushed back.

“Well, your quarterback position is the guy who can propel your team the quickest,” Keim said. “And he did that. Could Nick Bosa have gotten us to an 11-win team that year, two years ago?”

Keim also said he’d still give Murray the extension that the Cardinals gave to Murray last year. Given the torn ACL that Murray suffered during the 2022 season and the inherent uncertainty as to when and how he’ll heal, the obvious right answer seems to be no.

Said Keim on that point: “It’s because I still believe in the young man, and because supply-and-demand at that position, either you have one or you don’t. And whether they all have questions and holes, you have to be able to -- you’re either in or you’re out.”

The Cardinals were in. And now Keim is out. Plenty of factors went into the decision, but Murray ultimately wasn’t good enough to avoid getting Keim fired.

The reality is that the Cardinals believed Murray wouldn’t play in 2022 for the slotted fourth-year salary he was due to make. If they’d waited, and he’d be playing in 2023 under his fifth-year option, and they’d be sorting it all out after the coming season.

Instead, Murray ended up with more than $100 million fully guaranteed at signing, and $160 million guaranteed for injury. It was a great deal for him, given the intervening events.

Meanwhile, the 49ers struck it rich with Bosa -- and they still haven’t given him his second contract. And he hasn’t gotten anyone fired.