Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort Says 'Ego Will Not Be Tolerated in This Organization'

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 17, 2023

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: An Atlanta Falcons helmet sits atop an equipment case during the second half against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 1, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

New Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort drew a proverbial line in the sand during his introductory press conference Tuesday.

Ossenfort said, "Ego will not be tolerated in this organization."

Ossenfort, who was the Tennessee Titans' director of player personnel from 2020 to 2022, was named the Cards' new GM this week, replacing Steve Keim, who stepped down from his position after taking a health-related leave during the 2022 season.

In addition to Keim's departure, the Cardinals fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury after his four-year tenure with the team yielded a 28-37-1 record and one playoff berth.

On the heels of a 4-13 season, Ossenfort's first order of business will be finding a head coach to replace Kingsbury, but he must also decide what to do with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Arizona signed quarterback Kyler Murray to a five-year, $230.5 million contract extension in July, so it seems unlikely that the organization would target a top quarterback like Alabama's Bryce Young, Ohio State's C.J. Stroud or Kentucky's Will Levis in the draft.

Nothing is guaranteed when a new regime comes into power, though, especially when it comes to the quarterback position.

Murray was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL draft, and while he has earned two Pro Bowl selections, his numbers left something to be desired in 2022.

In 11 starts, he went 3-8, completing 66.4 percent of his passes for 2,368 yards, 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while also rushing for 418 yards and three scores.

Murray's season was cut short by a torn ACL suffered in Week 14, and it is unclear if he will be back for the start of the 2023 regular season.

One factor that could play into Ossenfort's decision at quarterback is whether he feels Murray can fit into his "no egos" mantra.

In December, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler and Josh Weinfuss reported Murray made Kingsbury "extremely frustrated" with his attitude and negativity this season.

Kingsbury and Keim are no longer in the fold, but Murray must ingratiate himself to a new coach and GM or risk not returning next season.

Ossenfort has a big job ahead of him, and his comments Tuesday suggest he is focusing on changing what may have been a toxic culture prior to his arrival.