Why the Cardinals Would Be Foolish to Hire Andy Reid

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystJanuary 1, 2013

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 30:  Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles walks off the field after the game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on December 30, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 42-7.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals cleaned house on Monday, firing both head coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves, and the team has apparently made its mind up who its next head coach will be before the "search" for a new one has even begun.

However, in hiring Andy Reid, as the team appears set to do, the Cardinals are making the sort of knee-jerk decision that has as much of a chance to backfire as it does to work out.

The ink wasn't even dry on Reid's termination letter from the Philadelphia Eagles before rumors began to swirl that he was the favorite to become the Cardinals' next head coach. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, a league source stated that it's "95 percent certain" that Reid will end up in the desert.

The Cardinals will no doubt point to Reid's hiring as a step in turning around the misfortune of the floundering franchise, but it's just as likely that the team will end up treading water or even taking a step back.

For starters, the hiring of Andy Reid will all but certainly mean bidding farewell to defensive coordinator Ray Horton, whose 12th-ranked unit was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise dismal season in Arizona.

Horton's name has been mentioned in regard to several coaching vacancies, and while the Cardinals interviewed him Tuesday, that appears to be more a formality to comply with the NFL's "Rooney Rule" than a serious shot at the head job for Horton.

Why would Horton want to stick around after the Cardinals essentially slapped him in the face?

Second, for all the success that Reid enjoyed over his 14 years in Philadelphia, the team missed the playoffs each of the last two years.  Furthermore, Reid hasn't won a playoff game since 2008, and his record over the past three seasons is a mediocre 22-26.

This isn't to say that Reid is a bad football coach. However, the past two years in Philadelphia were marred by sloppy, mistake-prone play—at least part of the blame for that lies squarely on Reid and his coaching staff.

Finally, Reid isn't going to come cheaply, and while that may not seem to be a big issue, it could easily become one if Reid struggles, The notoriously frugal Cardinals aren't likely to fire a coach with a long-term deal if they must pay a multi-million dollar buyout.

Granted, Reid hasn't been hired yet, and a potential sticking point may exist: Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reports that while Reid would like to bring former Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert with him to Arizona, the Cardinals have no interest in doing so.

If the Cardinals are smart, they'll take that bump in the road as a sign, step back for a minute and think this decision through a little more carefully.

Because in the National Football League, decisions made in haste are often decisions that teams end up regretting.