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Cardinals fire Whisenhunt, GM Graves

The Arizona Cardinals fired head coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves on Monday.

The Cardinals, who started the 2012 season with a 4-0 mark, lost 11 of their final 12 games to end with a 5-11 record.

Whisenhunt went 45-51 in six seasons with the Cardinals after being hired in 2007. He led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl after the 2008 season, losing to the Steelers, and a playoff appearance in 2009.

Things went downhill from there for Arizona, which compiled two 5-11 seasons around an 8-8 mark in 2011. The main reason for the struggles was the team's inability to final a franchise quarterback after Kurt Warner retired following the 2009 season.

The Cardinals sent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick to the Eagles in 2011 for quarterback Kevin Kolb. Arizona gave Kolb a five-year deal.

However, Kolb was inconsistent on the field and dealt with many injuries since arriving in Arizona.

In 2012, the Cardinals ended up using four quarterbacks -- Kolb, John Skelton, Ryan Lindley and Brian Hoyer.

"Coaching the Cardinals has been an incredible and rewarding experience and I will always be grateful to Mr. Bidwill, Michael and Rod for giving me that opportunity back in 2007," Whisenhunt said in a statement. "I'm very proud of what we as a team and as an organization achieved during that time. Collectively we accomplished some very special and unprecedented things. That's a testament to the dedication, hard work and talent of so many coaches, players and people throughout the organization.

"But we all understand this business and when you don't win enough games changes are made. That doesn't mean it's easy but you definitely don't have to look far to find people that have it much worse.

"I want to especially thank Cardinals fans who treated my family and me so well and made our time in Arizona so special.

"While this chapter ends for us, we are hopeful that the ones ahead of us will be as enriching as this one has been."

Graves, who has been with the franchise since 1997, led the team's personnel department from 2003 through 2012.

In addition, the Cardinals got rid of Russ Grimm (assistant head coach/offensive line), Mike Miller (offensive coordinator), Chad Grimm (offensive quality control), John McNulty (quarterbacks), Frank Reich (wide receivers), and Tommie Robinson (running backs).