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  1. #1
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    Warner say's he starts or retires

    New York Daily News

    John Elway retired after winning back-to-back Super Bowls, the dream way to end a career. Dan Marino reluctantly quit when the Dolphins didn't want him anymore. Troy Aikman and Steve Young left prematurely with injuries. Phil Simms was a salary-cap casualty.

    Kurt Warner is considering retirement, too, not that he doesn't want to play anymore. It's because he wants to play.

    He told the Daily News yesterday he's not ready to spend the rest of his days as a backup and if no team offers him the chance to at least battle for a starting job next summer, it could mean the end of his career. He sounds mentally prepared to walk away.

    "Retirement definitely would be a possibility. Definitely," he said. "If there was nobody out there that would give me an opportunity to compete to start, if nobody felt I was good enough to start in this league anymore, then I would probably say there would be a greater chance of me retiring."

    Warner, a two-time MVP, says he has not ruled out signing as a backup next year, or returning to the Giants behind Eli Manning, but his mindset is he wants to start or he doesn't want to play. He is convinced it won't come to that because he believes teams will want him as a starter after the way he played in his nine starts with the Giants.

    But Warner's opinion of himself may not be shared by NFL decision-makers. He is 33 and hasn't played at an elite level since 2001. If the best he can do is sign as an insurance-policy backup, then he's ready to pursue a career in the ministry and perhaps television. He will not get an argument from his wife, Brenda, if he elects to retire.

    "She's definitely open to that after the things that have transpired in my career the last couple of years," he said. "The things outside the football part of the NFL - the political part, the business part - after seeing that and the way it can wear on a family and a career, she would be open for me to retire."

    Here's what one personnel director said yesterday after being told Warner is contemplating retirement if he's not afforded an opportunity to compete for a starting job.

    "You can't watch the film and feel good about what you are getting into and think this is the solution," he said. "If that is his M.O., then I think it would be over. But he certainly could hang on as a backup for a long time. Remember now, Jeff George is back in the league (in Chicago) and he may start before the season is over."

    After Warner lost his starting job two weeks ago to rookie Eli Manning, one GM said: "Basically, when you get to that age, percentages probably say you are going to be a one-year backup wherever you go. The question is what does he have left? My gut is nobody will sign the guy to be a starter."

    Warner would be an upgrade in Arizona and Miami. But nobody is more unpredictable handling quarterbacks than Cards coach Dennis Green. And the Dolphins invested a No.2 pick in next year's draft on A.J. Feeley, although the Dolphins' new coach will have no allegiance to him.

    After signing with the Giants in June, Warner sold his house in St.Louis and moved here with his wife and five children. Even knowing it could be a one-year-and-done situation, he bought a house in the area. He handled his demotion two weeks ago with class. He has been supportive of Manning through his struggles, but he's not ready to be a baby-sitter the rest of his career.

    "I love playing and that's what it's all about to me," he said.

    Warner knows it doesn't look good to potential employers that Coughlin benched him in the middle of a playoff race to play a rookie. "There is nothing I can do about that," he said. "All I can do is say, 'Go back, watch the tape, see what I was able to do, watch me throw, watch me compete and do those things.' Make the assessment on that."

    But what happens if the assessment is he hung onto the ball too long?

    "I'm not concerned with somebody saying, 'He can't play in this league anymore because he holds the ball too long.' That's the least of my concerns," he said. "I might have been holding it too long waiting for my receiver to get open and then him not getting open and I'm stuck holding the ball. I think other things that I did far outweigh, well, three times a game he held the ball too long trying to make a play."

    Warner is using the Giants' 5-2 start as proof he can still be a winning quarterback. But they got there because of Tiki Barber and a defense that was producing turnovers. Warner was along for the ride in an offense that is not considered quarterback-friendly.

    "There weren't a lot of teams out there that were 5-2," Warner said. "Did I play the best football of my career? No, I didn't. But I do feel I played well enough to help this team be 5-2. When you look top to bottom around the league, the way I played matches up with a lot of guys, a lot of starters. It just goes to show I can still play."

    Starting the first week in March, when free agency opens, we'll find out if Warner is right by the quality of the phone calls he gets. Elway was able to leave on his own terms. Not many get to do it that way.


  2. #2
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Warner is absolutely still an NFL caliber starting QB. The problem is finding the right team and the right fit. Some thoughts:

    1. Dallas - If Parcells concludes that Hensen needs another year of seasoning, Warner could be a good upgrade over Vinnie for next year. But, again, that would be a temporary position for him, as the Cowboys will eventually want to give Hensen a shot.

    2. Baltimore - Kind of the same scenario, unless they conclude that Boller is a complete bust.

    3. Arizona - Could be a good fit there, and he would have some good young WRs to throw to. Does not seem that McCown is going to be the long term answer there.

    4. Cleveland - Not sure how committed they are to Garcia or Holcombe, but he could fit well there.

    5. Miami - If A.J. Feely plays poorly down the stretch, the Dolphins could turn to Warner as they groom a young QB (Leinert?)

    6. Seattle - If the Hawks don't resign Hasselbeck, Warner could be an option.

    7. Detroit - Harrington is starting to fall out of favor there. Another team with plenty of targets for a QB like Warner.

    8. Chicago - Hey, if they are giving Jeff George a shot, why not Kurt?

  3. #3
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Seattle could be his best bet.

    Dallas? If they don't give Brees half of Texas, Cowboy fans will hang Jones.
    Arizona? Nope. Green likes mobile QB's.
    Baltimore? Nope. Bollar is coming on.
    Chicago? Nope. Grossman is the man, he's just hurt.
    Cleveland? Possibility there.
    Miami? Why would any QB want to start there.
    Detroit? Another very good possibility.

    Here's one: San Fran. They don't have a clue at QB currently.

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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    The fact that Warner is even talking about retirement makes me think that it's going to come sooner rather than later. Remember, only the Giants made him an offer, though plenty of teams were supposedly interested (many denied it though).

    Honestly, I think there are very few teams next season who are going to be in the market for a veteran QB, and with guys like Brad Johnson, Drew Brees (slim chance), Matt Hasselbeck, Mike McMahon, and maybe even Drew Bledsoe available this spring, I'm not sure where Warner fits in.

    My thoughts on the list Av created...

    1. Dallas - Like you said, he's basically in a New York situation here. He'd have to play pretty darn well and keep the Cowboys winning if they're going to stay with him as a starter, but you know it's only a matter of time before they're pushing for Henson, regardless of what Kurt would do.

    2. Baltimore - I think they're basically sold on Kyle Boller here. They really don't need a huge playmaker in this offense. Boller just needs to mature a bit more, and I think the Ravens will stick with him.

    3. Arizona - Interesting idea, but I get the feeling that Green wants a young guy to groom as his franchise leader. The fact that he's bypassed King and is now going to try out John Navarre seems to suggest to me that he wants a younger guy to build off of, probably someone he can have develop with Boldin and Fitzgerald and depend on for a number of seasons.

    4. Cleveland - They won't bring in another older vet. They already have Garcia and Holcomb. I wouldn't be surprised to see them draft a QB on the first day this year.

    5. Miami - The Dolphins are a possibility, but I'd consider them slim the way their line has been playing. Warner would be commiting suicide if he chose to play behind that line with little to no running game. Plus, I think the Dolphins basically committed to Feeley by trading a second round pick for him.

    6. Seattle - Interesting option, but I think Holmgren has basically made his bed with Hasselbeck and will sleep in it come hell or high water.

    7. Detroit - I think Harrington is getting a bit of a bum rap in Detroit, and I'm not sure if they'd be willing to give up completely on him. If Detroit is after a QB, Kurt could be an option, although they'd probably want someone with more mobility.

    8. Chicago - Kurt probably wouldn't have a chance to compete for the starting job here, as I think that firmly belongs to the injured Rex Grossman.
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan
    Here's one: San Fran. They don't have a clue at QB currently.
    San Fran is in way too much cap trouble to start bringing in moderately priced vets, I think. Plus, both Rattay and Dorsey have shown some promise this season.
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Cool then, he'll hit the Revival circuit quick.

    Living in Texas, NO WAY do the Cowboys even CONSIDER Warner with Brees out there. Drew is from Austin Westlake, and 4 out of every 5 calls about the Cowboys around here is how much will it take for Dallas to sign him.

    Drew Brees is the Cowboys first and only choice at QB for next year.

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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Warner is using the Giants' 5-2 start as proof he can still be a winning quarterback. But they got there because of Tiki Barber and a defense that was producing turnovers. Warner was along for the ride in an offense that is not considered quarterback-friendly.
    Barber and the defense are still performing and Manning is along for the ride, but making nothing happen. Warner has every right to use the 5-2 start to make his point, especially since he performed well "in an offense that is not considered quarterback-friendly".

    The fact that Warner is even talking about retirement makes me think that it's going to come sooner rather than later. Remember, only the Giants made him an offer, though plenty of teams were supposedly interested (many denied it though).
    This is true, but like the Rams, no one knew what he was capable of after sitting for a year. Now they do.

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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    so who takes a shot at him mike solely for the purpose of starting?

    I honestly can't name one team. I really tried, but I can't.

  9. #9
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    I am not sure what I truly hoped for KW. It worked for him for a while. And I see no reason why it didn't deserve to be a longer ride wherever it was to be. I'll just thank him now for the moments that were.

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Barber and the defense are still performing and Manning is along for the ride, but making nothing happen.
    ...which has nothing to do with facing the top two teams in the NFC rather than a bunch of 4-7 units, or the Giants missing their two starting defensive ends? Manning hasn't played well, but let's not pretend it's been under the exact circumstances that Warner did.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    ...which has nothing to do with facing the top two teams in the NFC rather than a bunch of 4-7 units, or the Giants missing their two starting defensive ends? Manning hasn't played well, but let's not pretend it's been under the exact circumstances that Warner did.
    I don't know, in watching Giant games this year it looks to me like Manning is getting better protection from the offensive line than Warner got in his last few games. I have been a bit surprised at how well Manning has handled his situation, but very surprised at the improved play of the line. Maybe it's a biased interpretation, but that's the way I see it. Regardless, for the Daily News reporter to say that Warner had nothing to do with the 5-2 start and was just along for the ride was not a fair statement.

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    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    No, it's not a fair assessment to say Warner had nothing to do with the record. But let's face it, Barber was much more a factor for that offense.
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    Please remove that picture of Coady. That guy needs to go and it's frustrating every time I see that pic.


    Since Losing the Superbowl, Warner can't get a break. When he was losing in St. Louis, it was apparently all about the W's. Then when they had some wins going in New York, the "W's" had nothing to do with KW.

    And Marc Bulger is now "Playing great" but the rams are losing, so is it about the "W's" or not?

    The O'line for the G-men was good at the beginning of the year and has gone south. The Giants had a better chance to get into the playoffs with Warner this year, and now they will not make it and are looking to next year/the future. Which was inevitable, but they played some tough teams so I wouldn't have switched QB's.

    All I can hope for is that if Warner Retires, that he considers himself a "Ram" and would want to come over and be an assistant or something. The guy belongs on the Rams sidelines. He could still call in plays to his little bro.

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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    This is possibly setting itself up for a remake of the Jim Plunkett story! :tongue:
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  15. #15
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    Re: Warner say's he starts or retires

    I still think Washington might be a possibility if Gibbs isn't sold on Ramsey.

    as for the Giants, I think the switch was premature. that first game Eli started against Atlanta was a winnable game for the Gaints. if they won, they would be 6-4 and 6-5 after losing to the Eagles. they would still be in the playoff hunt.

    now, it's all about next year for the Giants.

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