The two-year contract Kurt Warner agreed to with the Arizona Cardinals likely will be his last as an NFL player.
Warner admitted as much during a news conference Wednesday to discuss a deal that is worth $23 million, including $19 million guaranteed.
“I think two years is good,” Warner said. “I can play at a high level, I can continue to help this team build. That’s what I see moving forward. That’s what I forsee at this point in time.
“I think you never say never, but I’m old.”
Warner, who will be 39 years old and will have completed 13 NFL seasons at the end of the contract, publicly said throughout the free-agent process that his preference was to return to Arizona. But he admitted that real doubt did creep in about his future because he had expectations about quickly reaching a deal with the Cardinals.
“There’s always doubts, I think,” Warner said. “I think going in, I had expectations that it would getting done quicker. I understand the process, I understand how it all works. But I think that was just my expectations. So when I took a little bit longer, yeah, there were some questions there whether it would get done for sure.”
It didn’t take Warner long to decide he wanted to return to football — or that he wanted to do it in Arizona. He said his mind was made up to return just two days after the Pro Bowl. And just 45 minutes into his much-publicized meeting with the 49ers, he knew where he was meant to be. Warner, who said the 49ers did make him a contract offer that was more than he was offered by the Cardinals, told his agent during the trip back from San Francisco to get a deal done with Arizona.
“It was really more about me figuring out where was the best place, once making that visit,” Warner said. “I realized it wasn’t the right fit, for a couple of different reasons, and that I wanted to be back here.”
Following Warner’s 25-minute news conference, Cardinals general manager Rod Graves and head coach Ken Whisenhunt held a second news conference. Some highlights:
- Graves noted the team is still trying to reach a new long-term contract with WR Anquan Boldin.
- Graves held the line when asked about the future of RB Edgerrin James, who reportedly has asked the team for his release. “Our position has always been we’re going to do what’s in the best interest of our team,” Graves said. “Our first priority is to this football team.”
- The signing of Warner likely means highly drafted backup QB Matt Leinart continues his development from the sideline. Whisenhunt voiced support for Leinart when asked about the future of the former first-round draft pick in Arizona: “Matt wants to play football. He’s a good football player. That’s never easy.”