Cardinals were “well down the process” when realized Arians was coming back

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The Cardinals still held some degree of contractual control over Bruce Arians when it became clear he was ready to coach again, at least enough to chisel a flip of draft picks out of the Buccaneers.

But they apparently didn’t consider just bringing him back to fulfill that option year they had on the deal from the day he retired.

Via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill suggested their search for Kliff Kingsbury was too far along to include Arians, who had previously said the Browns job was the only one he’d come out of retirement for.

“It’s great that he did, but we were already well down the process before we realized Bruce was potentially serious about [coaching again],” Bidwill said. “There was a lot of talk about Cleveland, but when the Tampa thing started looking real, we were already well down the process here.

“I wish him all the luck in the world.”

Yeah, it’s either that, or they just didn’t want him back. And since they hit three spaces in New Coach Bingo — young, good-looking, and offense — the idea of bringing back the 66-year-old Arians probably didn’t seem as attractive.

They’ll find out if they were right next fall, when they play Arians and his Buccaneers.