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ESPN Suggests 1 NFL Coach Could "Walk Away" After 2022 Season

The NFL logo in the middle of Metlife Stadium.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: A detail of the official National Football League NFL logo is seen painted on the turf as the New York Giants host the Atlanta Falcons during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

After Sean Payton left the Saints last year, one pair of analysts believe that another head coach could leave on his own volition after this year.

In a feature for ESPN, insiders Jeremy Fowler and Josh Weinfuss suggested that Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury could step down after this season. The two suggested that the last few seasons have "taken its toll" on Kingsbury to the point where some close to him are wondering if he might leave of his own volition.

"The weight of the past few seasons -- especially this one -- has taken its toll on the 43-year-old Kingsbury to the point that multiple people close to him have openly wondered whether he would walk away after the season..." Fowler and Weinfuss wrote. 

Another factor that could lead to Kingsbury's departure would be the "soured" relationship with key members of the Cardinals organization.

"Kingsbury's future with the Cardinals has long been rooted in his relationships with three key people -- quarterback Kyler Murray, general manager Steve Keim and (owner Michael) Bidwill. All three of those relationships have soured to varying degrees the past two years."

Kliff Kingsbury was brought in in 2019 with limited NFL coaching experience and an up-and-down tenure at head coach at Texas Tech. But he showed his coaching chops early by turning Kyler Murray into a star and last year he led the Cardinals to a 10-7 record and their first playoff appearance in several years. 

But things have fallen apart since then and it doesn't seem likely that they'll get much better in the immediate future.

If there was ever a time for Kingsbury to save face and go out on his own terms, now is as good a time as any.