Warner expected to re-sign with Cards soon

Kurt Warner and his agent must have read my latest column because apparently the free agent quarterback is on the verge of re-signing with the Arizona Cardinals according to ESPN.com. If the deal is completed, Warner is expected to receive $23 million over the next two years.

On Monday I speculated that Warner wouldn’t re-up with the Cards after making a free agent stop in San Francisco to talk with the 49ers. I concluded that with the departure of Todd Haley and the eventual/possible trade of Anquan Boldin, Warner might soon jettison as well.

Uh, not so much.

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NFL News: Westbrook, Warner and Ward

– Eagles’ running back Brian Westbrook underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee over a month ago according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The procedure was apparently a routine “cleanup” and already has recovered.

– The Cardinals have upped the ante in an attempt to keep quarterback Kurt Warner in Arizona. The Cards increased their contract offer from $20 million to $23 million over two years. Warner’s visit to San Fran must have spooked the ‘Zona front office.

– The Bucs signed running back Derrick Ward to a four-year, $17 million contract with $6 million in guarantees. Will this signing cost Cadillac Williams a roster spot?

– The Chargers are reportedly shopping cornerback Antonio Cromartie according to the San Diego-Tribune. The Bolts want to sign free agent Drayton Florence and already have Antoine Cason and Quentin Jammer as starters, which means there isn’t much room for Cromartie.

– The Titans upgraded their receiving corps with the addition of wideout Nate Washington, formerly of the Super Bowl champion Steelers. Washington is coming off a nice season and at 25, has a lot of football ahead of him. The Titans drastically needed to add offensive talent and this was a good start.

Three free agent moves that made sense, three that didn’t and three that have yet to happen

Even though we’re not even a week into the NFL free agency period, there is still plenty to talk about. Below are three free agency moves that made sense, three that didn’t and three that have yet to happen.

Three moves that made sense:

1. The Giants beefing up their defense with the signings of Canty, Boley and Bernard.
Two years ago, New York befuddled a previously unbeaten Patriots team in Super Bowl XLIII with a constant barrage of pressure from its defensive front four. With that in mind, GM Jerry Reese decided to add more talent to his front seven this offseason with the signings of Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard and Michael Boley. Canty and Bernard will beef up the interior of the Giants’ defensive line by adding both size and strength, as well as hopefully boost the production of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora on the outside. Not too many people have heard of Boley, but before he got lost in the shuffle last year in Atlanta, he was on his way to a promising career. Surrounded by the right talent and given the opportunity to play to his strengths in the right system, Boley could become a Pro Bowler someday and eventually excel in New York. They still have to figure out what to do with Plaxico Burress, but thanks to the signings of these three defensive players (coupled with the sensible deal the team signed running back Brandon Jacobs to), the Giants have had one of the best offseasons of any team in the league.

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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.

NFL News and Notes: Warner likely to return, Raiders cut safety Wilson

Kurt Warner– According to Kurt Warner’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, the free agent quarterback will not retire this offseason and is likely to play in 2009. The chances of Warner returning to Arizona are very high, regardless of what happens with receiver Anquan Boldin.

– The Raiders cut three players on Friday evening, including safety Gibril Wilson, who was given a six-year, $39 million contract by Oakland just one season ago. The Raiders also cut wide receiver Ronald Curry and defensive end Kalimba Edwards.

– The Saints offered a second-round tender on restricted free agent wide receiver Lance Moore, who is likely to return to New Orleans next season.

– The Dolphins have agreed to terms with right tackle Vernon Carey on a six-year, $42 million contract. The Bears were reportedly one of the teams interested in Carey if he hit the open market.

– The Jets released tight end Chris Baker before he was due a $9 million roster bonus on March 5. The team could still re-sign him at a cheaper price, although with Dustin Keller already on the roster, bringing back Baker isn’t a must.

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