Michael Bidwill didn’t sugarcoat it.
After a 6-3 start, the Cardinals owner expected his team to make the playoffs in 2020, and a late-season fade resulted in disappointment.
While the Cardinals improved their record by three wins from 2019, the downward arc of the season put coach Kliff Kingsbury and General Manager Steve Keim in the spotlight for fans and media. On Thursday morning, Bidwill joined the “Doug & Wolf Show” and was asked if 2021 was a playoffs-or-bust scenario for his coach and GM.
“Both those men are as disappointed as I was with the end of the season,” Bidwill said during his Newsmakers Week segment on 98.7, Arizona’s Sports Station. “They’re digging deep. They know what they’ve got to do, and we all know we’ve got to do, which is, we’ve got to improve.”
From a big-picture perspective, Bidwill liked the progress the Cardinals showed from Kingsbury’s initial season to Year 2. Bidwill believes the Cardinals are positioned to take another step forward in 2021, as the lowered salary cap could adversely affect other teams in the NFL.
The Cardinals are in better financial shape than most because star quarterback Kyler Murray is still on his rookie deal.
“Veterans are going to be cut around the league,” Bidwill said. “When you think about what’s going to happen going forward, we’re going to be able to improve this team. There are other teams that are going to be moving around because they’re going to lose talent. I’m very bullish on 2021 for both Kliff and for Steve.”
Bidwill emphasized that the decision-makers must make savvy choices this offseason for his ambitions to become reality.
“We’ve got to make sure that we make some good moves in free agency and nail the draft, and continue to improve this team,” Bidwill said. “I’m excited about it. Our future is bright. We get Chandler Jones back (from injury). We’ve got some great leadership on our team. I’m excited about our future.”