The Cardinals feared losing defensive coordinator Ray Horton to a head-coaching job. After the two other head-coaching jobs for which Horton interviewed (Browns and Bills) went to other candidates, the Cardinals’ reportedly hatched a plan to keep Horton in charge of the defense and to hire Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy to run the show.
Unless the news that McCoy is destined to bolt from Denver to San Diego is a last-ditch ploy by agent Bob LaMonte to get the Cardinals to step up financially, the Cards will have to come up with a new plan.
And the new plan could end up being the original plan: Promote Horton.
The other candidates are Bengals offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley. According to Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Haley told the Cardinals that his asking price to become the next head coach in Arizona would be “very high.”
So that leaves Horton and Jay Gruden as the main choices, at least for now.
In the end, money could be a major factor in the final decision-making process. Rumors are making the rounds that Steve Keim will be making roughly $750,000 as the Cardinals’ new G.M., which would make him the lowest-paid General Manager in the league. It could be that the Cardinals have a firm budget for the head-coaching job — and that the guy who gets the gig will be the guy who is willing to take whatever the team offers.