The Arizona Cardinals have suspended General Manager Steve Keim for five weeks after news that he pleaded guilty to extreme DUI Tuesday. ESPN reports that the team has also fined him $200,000 that will be donated to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. During his suspension, Keim can not have any contact with the team and can not be on facility grounds. The NFL had the option to impose additional penalties but has chosen not to do so. He will return to his position with the Cardinals only after undergoing counseling and an evaluation and completing a DUI education course.
Keim was arrested in Chandler, Arizona, on July 4 on suspicion of DUI. Police and court records indicate that his blood alcohol level tested out at .193. The legal limit in Arizona is .08. The range for extreme DUI is .15 to .19, putting the GM barely short of a super extreme DUI charge. Details about any legal repercussions weren’t immediately available.
In a statement, the team called Keim’s behavior “indefensible and completely unacceptable.” Keim issued his own statement in which he accepted his punishment.
“Once again, I apologize to everyone who has been negatively impacted by my actions and incredibly poor judgment, in particular the Cardinals, our fans and my family. I fully deserve and accept the punishment that has been issued. My goal is to do everything I can to grow from this personally and help others learn from my inexcusable behavior.”
Sports Exchange reports that during his absence, Keim’s responsibilities will be shared by multiple members of the personnel department. The Cardinals’ VP of Player Personnel, Terry McDonough, is expected to make decisions about the daily roster.
Although he will return to the Cardinals before the 2018 season begins, Keim will not be present when the team’s training camp begins on July 27 at the University of Phoenix Stadium. AZ Central reports that in the five years he has served as GM for Arizona, he has proven successful at adding key players during training camp. This will also be the team’s first training camp with their new coach, Steve Wilks. This will be Wilks’ first season in an NFL head coach position.
Steve Keim was promoted to the general manager position in 2013 but has been with the Arizona Cardinals since 1999 in a variety of roles. He signed a contract in February that guarantees him a spot in the organization through 2022. Since assuming the GM role, the Cardinals have earned a 49-30-1 record in the regular season, giving them the seventh best winning percentage in the NFL. Their 49 wins are a record for any five-year period in team history.