Kurt Warner announces his retirement

Kurt Warner has officially decided to hang ‘em up.

From ESPN.com:

“Not much on the drama part of it, as most of you know,” Warner said to begin a news conference at the Cardinals’ training facility in Tempe, Ariz.

Warner, 38, a two-time MVP and Super Bowl champion, had added motivation for a quick retirement decision: He has multiple promotional appearance commitments during Super Bowl week in Miami.

Rather than answer retirement questions then, Warner preferred to remove the focus from his future as quickly as possible so it’s not an issue next week, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

“Obviously, it’s been 12 unbelievable years, some of the best years of my life,” Warner said Friday. “But I want everybody to know that I’m just as excited about the next 12, that I’m excited about what lies in front of me. I’m excited about spending more time with my family, and seeing what God’s going to do next.”

Warner demonstrated class by not wanting to make his retirement announcement one of the focal points of next week’s Super Bowl. His selflessness and unwavering character are just two reasons why he will be missed on Sundays. (His outstanding play is another.)

Warner is one of only two quarterbacks in the history of the NFL to lead two different franchises to the Super Bowl. He finishes his career with 208 touchdown passes, 32,344 yards, a 93.7 QB rating and two MVP trophies. Even if he isn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer, the 12-year veteran will likely end up having a bust in Canton someday.

Not bad for a former grocery store stock boy and Arena league quarterback.


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Warner leaning towards retirement?

Rick Reilly writes in his latest column (which has become one inspirational chain e-mail after the other) that Kurt Warner may be leaning towards retirement.

Still, if Warner does quit in the next couple of weeks — talk to him, you’ll be convinced he will — it won’t be because of his seven kids landing 720 McTwists on him, or 300-pound linemen crushing him from the blind side. It’ll be because it’s become nine parts job and one part fun.

“Not the Sundays,” he says. “The three hours on Sundays are still fun. But it’s the whole week, the whole commitment, the ability to sustain it to your fullest, day in and day out.

Brenda Warner — the most quotable wife in the NFL — has said the decision is between “Kurt and God.” What does that mean, exactly?
“It means I pray that God takes away the desire in me to play this game,” he says. “I’ve loved it for so long. I need Him to take that away from me, so that I can be comfortable with this decision.”

So a lung-collapsing, cleat-raising hit like the one in New Orleans is a little message from above?
“Exactly.”

I say leave, Kurt Warner. Go walk your daughters down the aisle without a limp. Go play your beloved hoops until you’re 60. Go write the books you want to write and host the radio show you want to host and maybe even run for politics the way people are asking you now. Go exhale.

Reilly can share his opinion if he likes (he always does), but who’s to say that any of us know what’s best for Warner? This isn’t a case of an athlete that is past his prime and can’t contribute on the field anymore – Warner is still playing at a high level.

Professional football can be a cruel mistress. It’ll build you up, reward you handsomely and then before you know it, you’ll walk away and it’ll be gone forever. That’s why I say if Warner has even a shred of desire to come back, then he should. Reilly’s right when he says that Warner has nothing left to prove. But athletes don’t have to prove anything to anyone put themselves and their teammates. And if Warner still enjoys the game and everything that comes with it, then he should play until that desire is no longer there.

Is this the end for Kurt Warner?

One of the cruel things about sports is that even great players don’t always go out on top.

Kurt Warner completed 17-of-26 pass attempts for 205 yards on Saturday, but the Saints blew out the Cardinals 45-14 to end Arizona’s bid to repeat as NFC champions. Warner also threw an interception, took one hellacious hit from Saints’ DE Bobby McCray and spent most of the afternoon looking completely out of rhythm. His performance was a stark contrast from his 379-yard, five-touchdown effort in the Cardinals’ 51-45 win over the Packers last week in overtime.

Following the loss to the Saints, Warner said that he doesn’t have a target date for his retirement decision, although he noted that it wouldn’t be a long process. Knowing how classy Warner is, he won’t announce a decision before the Super Bowl, as to not take any attention away from the final two teams.

The fan in me hopes that Warner will return next season. He proved again this year that he can still perform at a high level and the Cardinals’ window of opportunity is far from closing. But given how involved he is with charities and special projects off the field, nobody will be surprised if he decides to hang up his cleats for good in the offseason.

If he does decide to call it a career, there’s nothing left that he has to prove. He’s been the consummate professional and one heck of a player.


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Report: Warner likely to retire at the end of season

Sources tell ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter that this will likely be Kurt Warner’s last season in the NFL.

Arizona’s next loss could mark the last time that quarterback Kurt Warner plays in an NFL game.

He always could change his mind, but this likely will be the 38-year-old Warner’s final NFL season, according to sources close to the quarterback.

Warner has been voted to five Pro Bowls, won two NFL MVP awards, one Super Bowl and became the second quarterback in history to throw more than 100 touchdown passes for two NFL franchises.

Earlier this season, Warner suffered a concussion that raised questions about his future.

While there’s no doubt he’d like to go out on top with a Super Bowl victory, Warner has nothing left to prove. He’s had a great career and if this is his final season, he’ll exit as one of the classiest players to have ever suited up in the NFL.


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Cardinals offering over $10 mil a year to keep Warner

The defending NFC Champion Cardinals are offering quarterback Kurt Warner over $10 million a year to stay in Arizona.

Kurt WarnerWarner, whose accurate arm and flair for the passing game helped carry the Cardinals to their first Super Bowl appearance, is hoping to land a contract offer that would reflect that he is a top five quarterback. Top five quarterbacks make between $14 million and $16 million a year. The Cardinals, according to a source, are believed to be offering between $10 million and $12 million a year.

Warner threw for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, completing 401 of 598 passes (67.1 percent).

Both sides have until Thursday night to reach a deal or he will be an unrestricted free agent starting Friday.

The only team with more cap space in the NFL right now than the Cardinals is the Buccaneers, so money isn’t an issue. It’s highly unlikely Warner hits the open market.

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