The Arizona Cardinals hired Monti Ossenfort as their new general manager Monday, the team announced.
“It was critically important for us to find the right person to lead us as general manager and there is no doubt in my mind that we have that in Monti Ossenfort,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill wrote in a statement. “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.”
Ossenfort’s first order of business likely will be looking for a new coach after Kliff Kingsbury was fired after the 2022 season. Bidwell wanted to hire Arizona’s next general manager quickly, so they could help hire the new coach.
The Cardinals are set to interview former Saints coach Sean Payton, 49ers defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, Steelers linebackers coach Brian Flores and their own defensive coordinator Vance Joseph so far.
Ossenfort spent the past three seasons working as the Titans’ director of player personnel. He worked for general manager Jon Robinson, who was fired in December. Ossenfort also spent 15 years in the Patriots’ front office in various scouting roles, including director of college scouting.
The Cardinals finished this past season 4-13 despite lofty expectations to compete in the NFC West. Ossenfort will be charged with getting the team back on track, but he’ll have to do that as franchise quarterback Kyler Murray rehabs from a torn ACL he suffered in December. Murray signed a five-year, $230 million contract this past offseason, meaning he’s firmly in the team’s plans when he comes back healthy.
Additionally, trade rumors have started to swirl around Arizona’s star receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Ossenfort will have to decide if he wants to retain Hopkins or flip him and begin a small rebuild.
If Ossenfort does lean toward a rebuild, the Cardinals have the third pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which could be used to select a premium player such as Alabama edge Will Anderson or Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter.
This is the first time the Cardinals are going outside the organization to hire a general manager since 1993.