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If Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, who’ll become a free agent in 23 days, is trying to leverage the best deal possible from his current team, he’s not doing a very good job of it.
After a season that had cemented his rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-riches status, Warner is in the unique position of a quarterback parlaying a Super Bowl season into a trip to the open market.
But even if Warner wants to stay with his current team, he needs to show some leg to one or more other franchises in order to get a fair deal from the Cardinals.
Instead, Warner continues to say that he won’t play for another team.
“That’s my mindset,” he said Tuesday, according to the Arizona Republic. “If I’m going to keep playing, I don’t want to change teams.”
It’s no surprise, then, that the buzz coming from the franchise is that Warner will sign a two-year deal worth a total of $18 million to $20 million.
But if he were willing to test the market, the numbers could be a lot higher.
With $40 million in cap space for 2009 and no cap (for now) in 2010, the Cardinals can do a lot better than $10 million per year, if they truly want to retain Warner’s services.
And if the Cardinals fear that Warner will leave, they can keep him via the franchise tag, which would pay him $14.65 million for only one season.
That said, Warner’s value on the open market isn’t clear. Though he has played at a high level and presents a better option at quarterback for plenty of teams, he’s a short-term fix, not a guy around whom a franchise can be built.
Moreover, there continues to be a vague concern that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, Warner’s roller-coaster career will go the other way again, making whoever pays him a ton of money look foolish for doing so.

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  1. smiley says: Feb 4, 2009 7:25 AM

    The threat of retirement is the ultimate leverage. The Cards would love to get one more year out of Warner…without him…Leinert. nuff said. Hail!

  2. Inept_guy says: Feb 4, 2009 7:51 AM

    For most players this would be a stupid negotiation strategy. But I feel that Warner is one of the few who cares more about winning and being on a team that he is comfortable with and provides a chance for him to win than money. It’s not a bad negotiation strategy if you get what you want, which for him doesn’t seem to totally revolve around making the most money possible.

  3. Superbuddy says: Feb 4, 2009 8:14 AM

    The Cardinals aren’t going back to the Super Bowl with or without Warner next year. I would low ball him and let him ask God if he should retire or not.

  4. AllSeeingEye says: Feb 4, 2009 8:37 AM

    So you know what all of that adds up to? It makes him worth about 9 or 10 million per year. He’s probably worth more to the Cardinals than any other team. So he, and other players I might add, really don’t even need the “leverage” you get so worked up about.

  5. carpkillah says: Feb 4, 2009 8:44 AM

    I know it’s hard to understand because it’s so unusual, but here’s a guy with this thing called integrity. Imagine that! I guy who says what he means! I think the retirement thing is a legitimate “threat” because he’ll simply walk away if the money isn’t good enough. Besides that, let’s be honest, how much of a threat is a guy who’s 37 or whatever going to start over with another team, probably with a less talented receiving staff. So the idea of the Cards losing him to a division rival or another team or whatever is not a huge concern, whereas simply losing him in general (retirement) is scary enough. If he leaves, they’re screwed. Leinart sucks. The Cards would be wise to hand him a blank check.

  6. HoosierTransplantIsSirius says: Feb 4, 2009 8:54 AM

    Inept_guy has an excellent point and I was thinking along the same lines before I ever read his post!
    Warner is a class act and is actually speaking his mind unlike Favre!
    Who wouldn’t want to stay with Fitz, Boldin and please don’t forget Breaston and….Urban!!!
    I think he’ll sign for 2 more and play both. #7 will need some tweezers to pick the wood out of his arse! Or fiberglass.
    But then again I don’t see Leinart being around for more than one more year. Does anyone?

  7. TheDPR says: Feb 4, 2009 8:58 AM

    But even if Warner wants to stay with his current team, he needs to show some leg to one or more other franchises in order to get a fair deal from the Cardinals.

    It’s no surprise, then, that the buzz coming from the franchise is that Warner will sign a two-year deal worth a total of $18 million to $20 million.
    You sound like an agent, Mike, implying that $18 million to $20 million over two years is an unfair wage to pay a guy for playing a game.
    If it’s fair to Warner then it’s a fair deal.
    Too many players, agents, and apparently bloggers get caught up in comparing one guy’s contract to the contracts of the rest of the players at that same position. I have never thought that was an appropriate way to judge a contract but see it as more of an agent’s tool to get more cash in his own pocket.

  8. Chev says: Feb 4, 2009 9:00 AM

    Believe it or not, some people actually like to work and it’s not all about money. Warner likes where he is and can win where he is. Why move on?

  9. rather says: Feb 4, 2009 9:14 AM

    Florio has never been in touch with what makes Warner tick.

  10. Pro Football America says: Feb 4, 2009 9:23 AM

    Maybe $10MM is enough for a guy not to have to “show some leg” to make the Cardinals think he’d go to another team.

  11. Alpheratz says: Feb 4, 2009 9:28 AM

    Kurt apparently already has the money he needs. He’s probably weighing if this team can make another run next year.

  12. Draft Bust says: Feb 4, 2009 9:36 AM

    Warner has really acted as the anti-Favre this season. Not only was his week two performance against the Dolphins more convincing than Favre’s week one win, Warner’s stats have been solid.
    Here Warner is clearly going to play or not play. Favre has brought up Vikings rumors this whole season. Warner = team, Favre = individual.
    /Dolphins fan

  13. Mattivi says: Feb 4, 2009 10:21 AM

    Just because he stated he wants to stay in Arizona doesnt mean he wont test the open market, again another short sighted inference from Florio.

  14. Darth Ringo says: Feb 4, 2009 11:30 AM

    Sometimes I think Florio won’t be happy with the NFL until the Super Bowl is a matchup between the accounting staffs of the 2 teams with the best records, regardless of conference.
    Why even have players? Or games?

  15. theVIC says: Feb 4, 2009 2:14 PM

    florio, I’m glad to see that, based on the comments so far, everyone else seems to agree with me about what a clueless dolt you are.
    $20 mill over 2 years seems like quite a good deal, especially when you factor in the value of not having to pack up and move, not having to win over a brand new locker room of teammates, learn a new system, and not have Larry Fitzgerald anymore, and maybe play in crappy weather come November.
    But like the typical hack lawyer and wannabe-agent that you are, you think it is a player’s duty to try to squeeze out every last dollar they can. “Wait, I can make $25 mill over the next 2 years as opposed to $20mill? I guess I’d best pack up and take that deal with the Chiefs, then.”

  16. SATAN says: Feb 4, 2009 5:14 PM

    Warner needs to make sure Boldin is signed to a new deal before he signs one. He might even look at a 2/20M contract and say hey use some of this (ie give up some money) to sign Q.

  17. JimmySmith says: Feb 4, 2009 9:33 PM

    I hope Brett Favre is watching and listening. This is how you handle the situation.

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