Question: How much money does Kurt Warner need?!
Answer: As much as he can possibly get.
Forget all that Christian stuff when it comes to big-time athlete bucks; everybody wants every million they can wring out.
Warner's agent, Mark Bartelstein, wants us to believe that Kurt's too moral to create a controversy to get more millions, but he and his client can't have it both ways. Despite all the Jesus talk, Warner's obviously not that moral.
We'd feel better about Warner's money-grubbing if he'd announce that he plans to hand over everything past $10 million a year -- what the Cardinals are offering -- to the charity/church of his choice.
Warner's said all along he doesn't want to leave the Cardinals, where there's chemistry, or move his wife and seven kids out of the Phoenix area.
So why's he visiting the 49ers? To get leverage, of course, in his quest for a maximum contract. To scare the holy crap out of the Cardinals (sorry Kurt) so they'll come around.
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But the trip to the 49ers' training facility, complete with team physical, might be good for the NFC champs, too. If San Fran makes an offer, then it'll be obvious what the soon-to-be-38-year-old's worth on the open market. We can't believe anybody will pay him the same money as the five highest-compensated quarterbacks in the league.
The Cardinals have offered a two-year $20 million contract, with half of that guaranteed -- which's a big raise over the $4 million Warner made last season. Warner and his agent want somewhere in the neighborhood of $14.5 million a year over two years, with more of the money guaranteed.
If the Cardinals wind up losing Warner, look at it this way: they've still got Matt Leinart. Though we hope the Cards keep everybody's favorite Bible-thumper (we admit, there's a better chance of immediate success with Warner calling the signals), having Leinart to fall back on ain't a bad position to be in.
We still think Leinart's the team's quarterback of the future, however it turns out with Captain Moneybags.