Warner, Cardinals to begin talking soon about new contract

Although Arizona Republic contributor Kent Somers writes that Kurt Warner and the Cardinals could begin discussing a new contract as early as this week, he also doesn’t squash the idea that Warner could still retire this offseason.

Kurt WarnerI think it’s a mistake, however, to view that as a definitive sign that Warner isn’t retiring. Warner has said there are a number of factors to consider in making the decision, and I think he’ll weigh all of them before making a commitment.

Warner has said several times that one of the most important factors will be how interested the Cardinals are in having him back. And there’s no better way to gauge that interest than seeing what the team is willing to offer in a new contract. That’s what Bartelstein is doing now. It would be silly for Warner to say he wants to play again, only to find the Cardinals are offering far below what he thinks is fair.

Another factor in Warner’s decision will be assessing the team’s determination to keep its core of talented players. He is also curious about Ken Whisenhunt’s plans for the offensive coaching staff. Warner was close with coordinator Todd Haley, now the Chiefs coach. Jeff Rutledge, the quarterbacks coach, has been fired. How Whisenhunt fills those spots will factor in Warner’s decision. It might not be a huge part of it, given that Whisenhunt is going to call plays, but it will have an impact.

Money, too, will play a part. Warner and his wife Brenda do a lot of charity work through their foundation, First Things First, and he’s told me before that he won’t have problems staying busy in retirement. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him on television, either. But there’s nowhere else he can make the kind of money the Cardinals likely will pay him — $8 million to $10 million a year.

Even with all the potential factors that Somers highlighted in his article, I think we’ll see Warner back in a Cardinal uniform for at least another year. It has to be tough for a player to taste another Super Bowl, not win it and then retire in the offseason, especially when it’s a top competitor like Warner. I bet we see a deal get done early in the free agency period.

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Kurt Warner likely to return to Arizona next season

Despite the recent talk that he could retire this offseason, it looks like Kurt Warner will return next year as the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals.

Kurt WarnerHe will be back. And he likely will sign a new, two-year contract extension – possibly in the neighborhood of $18-20 million – to try and lead this once-woebegone franchise right back into glorious history.

Give it two weeks, three weeks tops.

That was the word circulating through the Warner camp before and following the Cardinals’ 27-23 loss to the Steelers in Tampa. And unless management completely drops the ball and short-changes the quarterback at the negotiating table, it’s appears to be a done deal.

Still, Warner would make no such public assumptions. He did say on Tuesday he wants to finish his career with the Cardinals.

“That’s my mindset,” he said. “If I’m going to keep playing, I don’t want to change teams.”

Outside of Anquan Boldin and Todd Haley’s possible departures, Arizona is the perfect place for Warner. He benefits playing in a dome eight times a year because his arm strength is fading fast, he knows the offense and he has a multitude of weapons at his disposal. At this point in his career, he can’t be the guy anymore but he can obviously be very effective in the right situation. And the Cardinals are definitely the right situation for him.

Kurt Warner to retire?

The National Football Post is reporting that Kurt Warner is, “really giving some thought” to retiring.

I really hope Warner comes back and plays, but based on what I’ve heard, he is really going to give retirement some thought. This is not a negotiation ploy, this is Warner being very serious about his life.

The thought of Warner retiring might come as a surprise to some considering he’s coming off one of his best seasons as a pro and just led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. But he is 37 years old, is a major contributor off the field to various charitable groups and he already thought about retiring once this season when teammate Anquan Boldin was seriously hurt against the Jets in Week 4.

But it’s doubtful he walks away now. He’s a free agent and there’s no doubt the Cardinals will make a push to retain him in order to make another Super Bowl run. He might consider retiring or leaving Arizona if the team makes major changes this offseason, but that’s doubtful considering they’re coming off a Super Bowl appearance. If I were to make a guess at what happens with Warner, I would say he re-signs with the Cards for one-year and makes it his last.

Ten things to look forward to now that the Super Bowl is over

Click here for six observations on Super Bowl XLIII.

Lucifer himself might as well have created the Monday after Super Bowl Sunday.

Is that extreme? No.

The Monday after the Super Bowl signals the end of another NFL season and that means there is no football on the horizon unless you’re one of the 10 people that watches the Pro Bowl. There are seven months between now and the start of preseason games, which makes me sick to think about. If I could freeze myself for the next seven months and thaw just in time for the 2009 season, I would.

Is that extreme? No.

But fear not my football friends because even though there isn’t any football this Sunday, it doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to get excited about while looking ahead. Below are 10 things to look forward to now that the Super Bowl is over. (And so that you don’t have to freeze yourself for the next seven months.)

Before you read on, realize that I’m not going to copout and write about how free agency and the draft are things to look forward to. Of course they are, but let’s get more specific here, people.

Read the rest after the jump...

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