With all signs pointing to Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner calling it quits during a Friday press conference, there’s an intriguing subplot that eventually could become a primary story line.
Will Warner pay back to the team 50 percent of the signing bonus he received last season, when he inked a two-year deal to return to the Cardinals?
As we’ve said many times in the past, signing bonuses aren’t free money. They’re advance compensation for future services. In Warner’s case, it was $15 million in advance compensation.
“We’re ecstatic about the commitment the organization has made to us,” Warner said at the time. “Now it’s my job for the next two years to go fulfill my part of the deal.”
If he retires, Warner won’t be fulfilling that second year — and thus he by all rights should give back $7.5 million.
Since he hasn’t announced his intentions for 2010, he likewise hasn’t said whether he’ll refund the money. But since he’s the ultimate “do the right thing” guy, this one is a no-brainer.
And if for some reason he should claim that the issue of the $7.5 million has somehow slipped his mind, the Cardinals will refresh his memory. This is the same organization that deducted the cost of a FedEx envelope from safety Robert Griffith’s signing bonus and, according to Griffith, locked the Gatorade fridge on Tuesdays, when the players are off.