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  1. #1
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    No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner
    Feb. 26, 2005
    By Pete Prisco
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer
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    INDIANAPOLIS -- The Arizona Cardinals, in search of a veteran quarterback, will make a strong push to sign two-time MVP Kurt Warner this week, according to a league source.

    Warner, who exercised an out in his contract with the New York Giants in order to become a free agent, wants to go to a team that would make him the starter, which is a role the Cardinals can give him.

    Josh McCown, Arizona's starting quarterback in 2004, did get a qualifying offer from the Cardinals this week as a restricted free agent. He received the highest tender of $1.4 million, which will essentially keep him on the roster.

    McCown also has high praise from coach Dennis Green, although he hit on just 57 percent of his passes last year while throwing 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. McCown was benched for a time in favor of Shaun King.

    Green has had success in his career with veteran quarterbacks, including Brad Johnson and Randall Cunningham with the Minnesota Vikings, which is why the source indicated the Cardinals would move in the Warner direction.

    Much of the talk here at the NFL's scouting combine has Warner ticketed to Chicago to play for the Bears, but it appears the Cardinals are willing to make a push to keep that from happening.

    At 33, Warner started nine games for the Giants last year, going 5-4 before being replaced by rookie Eli Manning. Giants coach Tom Coughlin said at the combine that he strongly believes Warner can still be an effective starter.

    If he does sign with the Cardinals, Warner would be throwing to a heck of a receiving group in Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Bryant Johnson. The Cardinals will add a top back in the draft, possibly with their first-round pick.

    Warner led the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowls in 1999 and 2001, winning the first one.

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  2. #2
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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    I would like to see Warner with the Cards but I'm pretty skeptical that it will happen. With Griese agreeing, in principle, with Tampa Bay, Brad Johnson will be on the market and I'm guessing that Green will go with a vet qb that he's familiar with over one that he's not. Does anyone remember what happened with Johnson in Minnesota? Did Green get rid of him or lose him to free-agency? That's about the only way I see Warner having a shot with Arizona is if Green was never high on Brad Johnson.

    Talk about storylines though, if Warner, an ex-Ram goes to the ex-St. Louis football team to play in the NFC West vs. the Rams twice per year. Add to that all the other connections the Rams seem to have with the Cardinals over the last couple of years and there's bound to be something to talk about. I think any qb would salivate at the chance to throw to Boldin, Fitzgerald and Johnson especially in a Green offense. How well the o-line performs will be pivotable and the rb they draft/sign will also make or break the Cards next year. They did seem to be improved from previous years so the question is will the keep getting better?

  3. #3
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Does anyone remember what happened with Johnson in Minnesota? Did Green get rid of him or lose him to free-agency?
    Based off of some reading from a Vikes fan site, Green, who I believed hand-picked Johnson in the draft, inserted Brad into the line-up when Warren Moon went down with injury in 1996. Moon left after the season, and Johnson became the full time starter in '97. However, Johnson went down with a season-ending injury in '98, and Randall Cunningham came in and lit it up (259/425, 3704 yards, 34 TDs and 10 INTs). I don't think Green soured on Johnson. I can't find all the details, but it sounds as if they just couldn't (or wouldn't, after Cunningham's '98) get Johnson resigned and let him walk. The Vikes stuck with Cunningham after his great '98 campaign, though he would eventually lose the job to Jeff George.
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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    I would like to see Warner with the Cards but I'm pretty skeptical that it will happen.
    Me too. We'd get to play him twice a year. :redface:

  5. #5
    Chrisbob Guest

    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    Based off of some reading from a Vikes fan site, Green, who I believed hand-picked Johnson in the draft, inserted Brad into the line-up when Warren Moon went down with injury in 1996. Moon left after the season, and Johnson became the full time starter in '97. However, Johnson went down with a season-ending injury in '98, and Randall Cunningham came in and lit it up (259/425, 3704 yards, 34 TDs and 10 INTs). I don't think Green soured on Johnson. I can't find all the details, but it sounds as if they just couldn't (or wouldn't, after Cunningham's '98) get Johnson resigned and let him walk. The Vikes stuck with Cunningham after his great '98 campaign, though he would eventually lose the job to Jeff George.
    Johnson had a great year, then the following year got injured, Cunningham came in and the Vikes went 15-1 losing to the Falcons in the NFC Championship. Cunningham played so well the Vikes commited to him and traded Johnson to the Redskins for a 1st round pick.

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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    That's pretty much what I thought about Johnson without knowing the details. I think Green will go after Brad if/when the Buc's release him.

    And Zig, if you'd rather the Rams faced Warner than McCown...well, I don't know what to think about your football knowledge.

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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    Maybe he's just saying he'd enjoy seeing Warner play (at least) twice a year.

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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    Maybe he's just saying he'd enjoy seeing Warner play (at least) twice a year.
    Is that your final answer? If it is, you might want to ask the audience instead.

  9. #9
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    Re: No bluff: Cards to make serious play for Warner

    As of Thursday, KFFL reports the Bucs are $17M over the cap. Cutting Johnson would create over $4M in cap space, and with Griese signed to a five year deal, seems inevitable. While reports indicate the Cards are going to heavily pursue Warner, I would expect them to make a sharp turn towards Johnson once he's released.
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