Cardinals hire Titans’ director of player personnel as new GM

Monti Ossenfort will take over for Steve Keim, who left the position earlier this month following taking an indefinite leave of absence in December.
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 2:30 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:17 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- The search for a new Arizona Cardinals general manager has ended. The team announced on Monday they have hired Tennessee Titans director of player personnel Monti Ossenfort. The hire was first reported by Ian Rapoport. “He possesses every attribute of a successful GM – passion, leadership, intelligence, work ethic – and his extensive experience has clearly prepared him for this role. We could not be more thrilled to have Monti and his family joining the Cardinals,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a statement.

Ossenfort started his NFL career as a training camp intern in 2001 and worked as a scout with the Houston Texans. He then went to the New England Patriots in 2006, where he was hired as a scout and served in different scouting positions during his 15 years. During his time there, the Patriots went to seven Super Bowls and won four. In 2019, the Titans hired him as director of player personnel.

Ossenfort has had an impressive career path leading him to the Cardinals. He says all the different positions, including as a scout, have prepared him to be general manager. “It’s given me a perspective to see different facets of roster building, how different parts of the process play in and also helped me to form my own opinion of what I feel works in the scouting process and things that I might tweak a little bit,” he explained.

Arizona's Family sports director Mark McClune got an exclusive interview with the Arizona Cardinals new GM Monti Ossenfort.

Ossenfort will take over for Steve Keim, who left the position earlier this month following taking an indefinite leave of absence in December. The new executive comes after the Cardinals finished the 2022 season with four wins and 13 losses, including losing the last seven games. Last week, Bidwill said he had interviewed two internal candidates — Adrian Wilson and Quentin Harris — for the GM job.

The first order of business for Ossenfort will be to find a new head coach. The team got rid of their head coach Kliff Kingsbury a week ago. During Kingsbury’s four seasons as head coach, the team had an overall record of 28-37-1. The Cardinals had one playoff appearance during that time in the 2021 season. Ossenfort said he was excited to begin the process to find a new head coach. “Michael [Bidwill] and some others in the organization have some ideas, I have had some ideas. We’re in the initial stages of talking about those names, talking to some of these people. I’m excited to find a coach that shares the vision we do and building this together,” he said.

Ossenfort will also be charged with building a winning team around quarterback Kyler Murray, who signed a $230.5 million contract last offseason that could keep him with the franchise through 2028. Murray missed the final month of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee and could also miss the beginning of next season. “I want to just get to know Kyler as a person. I want to ask him how his rehab is going and where he is and how he’s feeling. I’m excited to get to know him and kind of give him a picture of what we’re trying to do here. Once we get a head coach, forming that relationship and moving forward,” said Ossenfort.

The Cardinals also have the No. 3 overall pick in the upcoming draft.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.