Admit it — if you’ve been an NFL fan long enough, you know enough about the history of the Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals to wonder if the Bidwills, the longtime el-cheapo owners of the franchise, were going to spit the bit and tank the franchise’s future by low-balling Kurt Warner and forcing him to another team or into retirement. However, the Cards have screwed up in reverse and inked a new two-year contract with the man who most decidedly led them to the Super Bowl. The deal is for $23 million, about $19 million of which is guaranteed, and it puts Arizona right back in the mix for NFC championship contention.
In 2008, Warner put together his best season since his last Super Bowl year of 2001, and there’s no doubt that the “Option B” terror of Matt Leinart, last seen throwing about 20 picks to a horrible Raiders team, had something to do with this deal being done. Certainly the wishes of receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin factor in, not to mention the fact that letting Warner go to the 49ers or any other team would make the Bidwills the single dumbest team owners in recent sports history (Non-NBA Division). After the ink was dry, Warner joined Gambo and Ash on KTAR in Phoenix to breathe a sigh of relief.
On how difficult the negotiations were:
“Part of it was that I was really set on coming back here, thought it was going to be easier than it was, and there are moments where you wonder if it was actually going to get done. Going into it, I never expected that. I thought we’d get to it pretty easy and get it taken care of, and with the questions coming up, going back and forth, I wasn’t sure what my future was going to be. I think that made it a lot tougher.”
On whether he came close to signing with the 49ers:
“Definitely. And I told my agent early on, I didn’t want to make the trip (to San Francisco) when it first came up and their interest came in, Really, from a personal standpoint, I said, ‘I don’t want to go anywhere. I want to stay here. I’m not going to lead anybody on, and I’m not going to use anybody for leverage. That’s not the way I do things … But I started looking at (the 49ers’) website, started looking at their personnel, started looking at their schedule next year, I was going to leave every door open.”
Way to go, you parsimonius Bidwills. Now, make Anquan Boldin happy and set about bucking that Super Bowl Loser’s Curse!