Black Monday has become one of the busiest and craziest days on the NFL calendar. Immediately following the last game of the season, teams from across the league don't miss a beat by firing head coaches and general managers.
New Years Eve 2012 will go down as one of the most memorable Black Monday's in NFL history. Seven teams will have new head coaches come next season and a handful of teams will have different GM's as well.
The Cardinals will have a new head coach and a new general manager after Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves were both fired on Monday morning. Whisenhunt was the Cardinals head coach for six seasons while Graves spent 15 years as Arizona's GM.
During his Monday afternoon press conference, Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said firing both men was one of the toughest decisions that he has ever had to make considering the relationship he had with both men.
It is certainly questionable to say that it was a difficult decision for Bidwill considering the track record of both Whiz and Graves over the last three seasons, but it was certainly bold and a move that his father probably would have never made if he were still running the organization.
Whisenhunt is due to get paid $5.5 million next season. If he doesn't land a job somewhere else, the Cardinals will have to pay him as well as their new head coach. If he does get a job in the league, the Cardinals will just have to pay the difference in the new contract he receives.
This is an organization which historically has been frugal when it has come to paying for things. In the past, they have been cheap when signing players to their rookie contracts, adding free agents and extending the contracts of their coaches. The Whisenhunt firing could be a sign that things might finally be changing in terms of this franchise spending money when needed.
Graves losing his job was certainly no surprise. It has been rumored for weeks that he won't be back as the Cardinals general manager next year, but him not coming back to the Cardinals in any capacity is a bit shocking. Graves could have been a good fit somewhere in the front office, but that won't be happening.
At the end of the day, these moves needed to be made in order for the Cardinals to return to winning football games. That has been a struggle during large portions of the past three seasons under Whisenhunt's leadership, which is one of the reasons why he is now unemployed.
Whiz is the organization's winiest coach, but his message was no longer catching on with the players in the locker room. Graves is one of the better guys in the league, but the Cardinals need to have a general manager that has power in making moves through the draft and in free agency instead of just strictly negotiating contracts.
Time will tell who Bidwill will hire in the two new vacant positions, but for now, he made a brave and smart decision for his organization to get back on track to winning football games once again.