New Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort outlines rebuild plans, expectations of players: ‘Ego will not be tolerated’

 

Newly installed Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort laid out what type of players he will rebuild the roster with during his introductory press conference on Tuesday.

“We’re not just collecting talent, we’re going to build a team,” Ossenfort said. “Ego will not be tolerated in this organization. [We want] people that are willing to put the team first every step of the way.”

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill mentioned that he and Ossenfort agreed that the team has recently suffered from a lack of accountability. Ossenfort spent the last three NFL seasons with the Titans, but he gained the majority of his executive experience in New England.

He severed as the Titans’ director of player personnel from 2020-2022, having first joined the Patriots organization in 2003 before departing to become a scouting assistant with the Houston Texans.

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Monti Ossenfort speaks after being introduced as the new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team during a news conference in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Ossenfort rejoined New England in 2006 and worked in a variety of roles through 2019.

He is credited with helping the Patriots win four Super Bowls during his tenure. The Cardinals have never won a Super Bowl, but do have two NFL Championships – the last of which happened in 1947. League championship games took place prior to the AFL-NFL merger.

Ossenfort did not specifically call out any current Cardinals players when he brought up egos. However, the histrionics surrounding star quarterback Klyer Murray’s contract extension sparked several questions about leadership and commitment to his craft.

Monti Ossenfort smiles as he is introduced as the new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team during a news conference in Tempe, Ariz., Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Murray signed a five-year, $230.5 million contract extension in July. However, the Cardinals added an addendum which required the Pro Bowler to “complete at least four hours of independent study.” The team later announced the clause was removed from the contract.

Murray was having one of the worst seasons of his career until he suffered a torn ACL during a Week 14 game against the Patriots.

In February, the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported that several of Murray’s teammates were unhappy that the quarterback did not finish Arizona’s wild-card playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams. He was replaced late in the blowout loss by backup quarterback Colt McCoy.

After scrubbing his Instagram account following the end of the 2021 season, Murray returned to social media one day after Super Bowl LVI and proclaimed his love for football.

Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals is carted off the field after being injured against the New England Patriots during the first quarter of the game at State Farm Stadium on December 12, 2022, in Glendale, Arizona.
(Norm Hall/Getty Images)

“I play this game for the love of it, my teammates, everyone who has helped me get to this position that believed in me (and) to win championships,” Murray wrote. “All of this nonsense is not what I’m about, never has been, never will be. Anyone who has ever stepped between those lines with me knows how hard I go.

“Love me or hate me but I’m going to continue to grow and get better.”

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However, the newly minted general manger doesn’t seem focused on all the drama that surrounded Murray. Ossenfort said the most pressing issue is making sure Murray is getting healthy.

“But the first order of business is getting Kyler healthy and helping him in whatever manner that is possible.”