The Cardinals have existed for more than 100 years. No coach of the team has lasted longer than six season. In 2021, Kliff Kingsbury will be halfway there.
Here’s the question: Will he get a fourth season?
With Kyler Murray in the final non-negotiable season of his rookie deal, the Cardinals will have to give him a major payday, as soon as next year. During the relatively inexpensive seasons of Murray’s career, the franchise has failed to make the playoffs. If they go 0-3 with Murray under Kingsbury, it’s not crazy to think Kingsbury will be gone.
Whether and to what extent Murray vouches for Kingsbury could help him. But Murray also could decide after three seasons that, for Murray to get to the next level, he’ll need a next-level coach.
Regardless, the Cardinals don’t tend to exercise excessive patience with their head coaches. Ken Whisenhunt lasted only six years despite taking the team to its only Super Bowl. Bruce Arians got nudged into retirement after five years despite cobbling together a consistent contender. If Kingsbury can’t take a team with one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL plus plenty of weapons to the postseason in his third crack at doing so, the organization may decide to find someone else to get the most out of Murray.