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Giants: Warner's agent says they aren't a lock to land QB

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  • Giants: Warner's agent says they aren't a lock to land QB

    Giants: Warner agent says they aren't a lock to land QB
    Tuesday, June 01, 2004
    Star-Ledger Staff

    Kurt Warner's six-year career with the Rams is expected to end today, after the NFL's 4 p.m. close of business. His career with his next team, possibly the Giants, officially could begin as early as tomorrow.

    As teams make their June 1 cuts, Warner, the two-time league MVP who has won one Super Bowl and lost another, will be among the most intriguing players to watch. His signing with the Giants is viewed by many around the league as a foregone conclusion, particularly because the union would appear equally beneficial to both parties.

    Not so fast, said Warner's agent, Mark Bartelstein. He called that assumption "definitely jumping to conclusions" and said he had discussed "no specific offers" with any club. The Giants were the only team to court Warner publicly last month, though Bartelstein maintained that more expressed interest.

    Bartelstein expects Warner's release from the Rams to come tonight and said a signing will follow "very quickly." Warner became expendable in St. Louis after the Rams made a commitment to his former backup, Mark Bulger.

    The Giants' quarterback of the future is rookie first-rounder Eli Manning. But Warner, who will turn 33 in three weeks, could be the veteran they need to have a chance to win this season.

    Given permission by the Rams to explore his options, Warner visited the Giants on May 10-11, a trip Bartelstein described as "great." Warner left Giants Stadium with the impression he would have a chance to win the starting job, thus providing a unique opportunity to revitalize his career.

    Several Giants players would feel more comfortable having Warner as the starter for the Sept. 12 season opener in Philadelphia, provided he is healthy. And his arrival would help to soothe the uneasiness in the locker room left by last month's release of starter Kerry Collins, who was highly regarded among his teammates.

    The biggest question about Warner is his health. In his only start last season, he fumbled six times at Giants Stadium, leading to speculation that a thumb injury and concussion history would perhaps end a distinguished career as remarkable for its quick rise as sudden fall. Warner was given a physical during his visit and deemed healthy by the Giants medical staff.

    The Giants have two minicamps this month, with the first beginning Monday. Coach Tom Coughlin would prefer a veteran quarterback signed and in attendance.

    An off-season that already has seen incredible turnover -- the Giants have added 17 veterans through free agency or waiver claims in the past three months -- will see that total increase. June 1 has become a significant date on the league calendar because the salary-cap hit for players released after that date is spread over two years rather than one.

    The Giants are about $8.5 million under the $80.6 million salary cap. The rookie pool will sap $4.4 million. The rest could be used to sign Warner, a middle linebacker to compete with Nick Greisen and/or a right tackle.

    The Giants are believed to have some interest in middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, who will be released by the Redskins, though that interest is hardly unanimous. Trotter, 27, has a surgically repaired knee and has developed a reputation that some former coaches and teammates see as disruptive.

    Seattle defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes is one of Trotter's former coaches, and the Seahawks, who could use help at his position, have said they are not interested in him.

    Among the offensive tackles who could become available are Arizona's Anthony Clement, Tampa Bay's Kenyatta Walker and Atlanta's Todd Weiner.

    The Giants have some flexibility because David Diehl, who played right guard last season as a rookie, could shift over. Diehl played tackle at the University of Illinois and has worked there at times this spring.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    QB Kurt Warner is set to leave the Giants and become a starter for another NFL team.
    by Guest
    December 29, 2004

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Kurt Warner believes he can and will be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

    QB Kurt Warner is set to leave the Giants and become a starter for another NFL team.
    Eli Manning is the Giants’ starter. Therefore, the Giants’ Sunday night season finale against the Dallas Cowboys could well be Warner’s final game in a Giants uniform.

    “Very possibly,” Warner said today. “I think everybody would foresee that being the case. Who knows what’s going to happen? You never know what the future has in store and what could transpire. But I think that’s everybody’s thought process right now.

    “I want to be somewhere starting next year. They know it’s not here with the New York Giants. And they understand my point of view 100 percent.”

    Warner, who was signed as a free agent on June 2 after a record-breaking six-year run with the St. Louis Rams, started the first nine games of the season. The Giants were 5-4 in those games and Warner completed 62.8 percent of his passes (174 of 277) for 2,054 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions. Warner’s quarterback rating of 86.5 still ranks seventh in the NFC.

    After a 17-14 loss in Arizona on November 14, coach Tom Coughlin named Manning the new starting quarterback. The first pick in this year’s NFL Draft – and a player the Giants obtained in a trade of draft choices, including this year’s first round pick -- Manning was the quarterback of the future. The only question was when that future would arrive.

    Since it did, Warner has played just once in relief, an appearance in a hopelessly lost cause in the fourth quarter of a 23-point defeat in Baltimore, where he led the Giants to their only offensive touchdown.

    Throughout what could have been a difficult or uncomfortable position, Warner has carried himself with dignity and grace. He has helped Manning whenever possible. Warner has publicly advocated that Coughlin stick with Manning, even when the youngster struggled, and it seemed he might have a shot to play again. And Warner has never hidden from the media. Today he entered the locker room and said, “Does anybody need me?”

    While Warner is an exceptional gentleman, he is also an intense competitor. It is that fire that helped him win two NFL Most Valuable Player awards and twice lead the Rams to the Super Bowl, including a victory five years ago. At 33, Warner insists he has plenty of good football left in him, a notion that was cemented in his own mind by his play early this season.

    “I’m not going to be content, right now in my career, where I am and what I believe I can do, being a backup next year,” he said. “It’s just the bottom line. It’s nothing against the New York Giants, it’s nothing against the situation, the coaches, the organization. I love my year here. But I’m not content being a backup. I think...
    -12-29-2004, 07:57 PM
  • WisRamsFan
    Giants sign Warner
    by WisRamsFan
    Giants sign Kurt Warner

    By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer
    June 3, 2004
    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Two-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner signed with the New York Giants in a move that gives the team a veteran quarterback in case top draft pick Eli Manning is not ready to start this season.

    Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon on Thursday confirmed the signing and said Warner would be on the field with the team on Thursday morning at a closed practice.

    The quarterback is scheduled to hold an afternoon news conference.


    While terms of the contract were not disclosed, Warner is believed to have gotten a two-year deal that will pay him $3 million this season, including a $1.5 million signing bonus.

    The signing comes a little more than 24 hours after Warner was released in a salary-cap move by St. Louis, ending an improbable run that saw the former Arena League quarterback twice take the Rams to the Super Bowl -- including a victory over Tennessee in 1999.

    Warner has battled injuries the last two years. He missed half of the 2002 season with hand injuries. He lost his starting job last season after sustaining a concussion in a season-opening loss to the Giants.

    Warner hasn't won a game as a starter since the 2001 season, when he led the Rams to a 14-2 record. New England upset St. Louis in the Super Bowl, denying Warner a second title.

    Warner's agent, Mark Bartelstein, was not immediately available for comment.

    Warner comes to the Giants knowing Manning is their quarterback of the future.

    New York traded first-round draft picks this year and next and other choices to San Diego on draft day to acquire the rights to the Mississippi quarterback who was the No. 1 pick overall in the draft.

    The Giants had hoped that Kerry Collins would mentor Manning this season. But the veteran who led the Giants to a Super Bowl appearance in January 2001 refused to renegotiate a contract that would have paid him $7 million in the upcoming season.

    Collins was cut days after the draft, and subsequently signed with the Oakland Raiders, forcing new coach Tom Coughlin to search for a proven veteran.

    Warner, who will turn 33 on June 22, is that.

    After his injury troubles, Warner's days in St. Louis were numbered once Marc Bulger was given a four-year, $19.1 million contract last month.

    The Rams gave Warner permission to shop himself, knowing he would be released June 1. Warner met with the Giants last month.
    -06-03-2004, 07:54 AM
  • AvengerRam_old
    Giants have given up on Warner, season
    by AvengerRam_old
    They are down 37-7 after three quarters, and here are Eli's numbers:

    Attempts: 17
    Completions: 4
    Yards: 27
    TDs: 0
    Ints: 2
    QB Rating: -21.3!!!!!!!

    And still, they haven't brought Warner back in.

    Clearly the Giants want Eli to have his trial by fire, and they don't care if the season is burned along with him.

    Oh well. At least Kurt showed enough in his nine games to get a gig next year.
    -12-12-2004, 01:53 PM
  • r8rh8rmike
    Interesting Takes From Warner & Coughlin
    by r8rh8rmike
    Wednesday, June 9, 2004

    By Sal Paolantonio
    Special to

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- You can see it in his eyes. Kurt Warner's eyes are wide open, revealing the happiness of a man who has emerged from the long slumber of lost opportunity.

    "I feel completely re-energized," said Warner, as he came off the field after his first mini-camp practice with his new team, the New York Giants.

    Warner lacked some zip on his passes during practices.
    Rewind to Giants Stadium, Week 1 last year. Under constant pressure from Michael Strahan and company, Warner was sacked six times and fumbled six times, and started his last game for the St. Louis Rams. Sitting on the trainer's table in the visitors' locker room at Giants Stadium that Sunday afternoon, Warner had just been diagnosed with a mild concussion and his eyes had the vacant look of a man who had just bought a one-way ticket down the rabbit hole.

    The contrast between Warner then and Warner now couldn't be more stark. And the situation couldn't be more ironic -- the team that ended his season has now handed Warner a chance at NFL redemption.

    It's no wonder that Warner has displayed the same wide-eyed eagerness of the former stock boy from Iowa who emerged from NFL Europe and replaced the injured Trent Green to re-write the history of Rams football in St. Louis.

    "Normally, the player will sit down and will have to talk to his agent on the phone," said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. "He said, 'I don't want any of this. Let's get this done.' He signed right away. He was down the hall, looking for coaches, saying 'Let's go meet.' He wanted to get himself immersed in this offense right away."

    There is good reason for Warner to be anxious. Coming to New York means that Warner, who will be 33 on June 22, will be under-going several mid-life, mid-course adjustments.

    He must adjust to the demands of Coughlin's offense, which shall we say is a bit more conservative than the Greatest Show on Turf choreographed by Mike Martz. And Warner will be learning the new offense with a newly minted franchise quarterback, Eli Manning, looking over his shoulder.

    The Giants invested two first-round draft picks and expended a lot of public relations good will to acquire Manning in a trade with San Diego in this year's NFL draft. Some see Warner as the perfect mentor for Manning, or at least a temporary diversion so that Manning can incubate his talents without being over-exposed by the white, hot lights of the New York media.

    Warner will have none of that. You can tell by the tone and conviction in his voice that, for Warner, this is not about Peyton Manning's little brother.

    "Obviously, I'm coming in to...
    -06-10-2004, 05:07 PM
  • WisRamsFan
    Warner in the correct forum
    by WisRamsFan
    Warner becomes caretaker QB until Manning ready

    By TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer
    June 3, 2004
    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New York Giants are taking some of the pressure off Eli Manning , signing Kurt Warner to be their caretaker quarterback until the top pick in the draft is ready to take over.

    While the two-time MVP got a two-year contract late Wednesday that will pay him a minimum of $3.5 million this year, there is no guarantee the two-time NFL MVP will play for the Giants for more than a year.

    When Manning is ready to go, he will be the Giants' quarterback.


    Until then, the job seemingly belongs to Warner, the soon-to-be 33-year-old who led the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl appearances after the 1999 and 2001 seasons. Injuries and the emergence of Marc Bulger earned him a pink slip on Tuesday.

    ``I am looking to come in and to play and to re-establish myself,'' Warner said at Thursday, hours after his first practice. ``I would love this to be where I finish my career.''

    Warner has incentives that can push his salary to $8 million this season. However, the second year of his contract is voidable and his tenure may well be determined by Manning's progress in his rookie season.

    ``I don't want to keep moving and picking up my family,'' Warner added. ``I want to continue to have success. I would love it to be here in New York and I will do whatever in my time here to be successful. We'll just see what happens.''

    ``Obviously Manning is there, but this is New York and if Kurt wins, they are not going to want him to leave,'' said Mark Bartelstein, Warner's agent.

    The signing takes a ton of pressure off Manning.

    The son of Archie Manning and the brother of Colts quarterback Peyton Manning became the Giants' starting quarterback when Kerry Collins refused to take a pay cut and was released less than a week after New York got the No. 1 pick in a draft-day trade with San Diego.

    Manning, who has known for weeks the Giants planned to sign a veteran, still plans on competing for the starting job.

    ``I don't know if this takes the pressure off,'' Manning said. ``I don't know if anything has changed in my view. I am still going to practice just as hard as ever. I want to be ready.''

    Manning and Warner spoke for a few minutes on Thursday. Warner plans to tutor Manning, just as he did with Bulger in St. Louis.

    ``To teach a guy the little things and have him become a better quarterback was fun for me, as frustrating as it was not playing,'' Warner said. ``But I look forward to helping any way I can.''

    Warner also is looking forward to playing again. He suffered a concussion in a season-opening loss to the Giants last season and did not start for the rest of the year. He...
    -06-03-2004, 03:58 PM