End of line for Warner? QB contemplates retirement

TEMPE, Ariz. -- This might be the final season for Kurt
Warner in the NFL.

The 35-year-old Arizona Cardinals quarterback, who lost his
starting job to rookie Matt Leinart last week, said Thursday he is
considering retirement after this season.

"Definitely I'm thinking about my next step and what's best for
me and all those things," he said.

Warner, in one of the NFL's great success stories, went from the
Arena Football League and NFL Europe to lead St. Louis to two Super
Bowls. He is in the first year of a three-year contract he signed
with the Cardinals in February but he realizes that his future in
Arizona would be as a backup.

Since his MVP days with the Rams, Warner has lost starting jobs
to Marc Bulger in St. Louis, Eli Manning with the New York Giants
and now Leinart.

"We'll sit down at the end of the year and see the way things
are going," Warner said.

Warner, who earns about $7 million this year, got off to a great
start this season, earning NFC offensive player of the week honors
after completing 23 of 37 passes for 301 yards and three touchdowns
in a 34-27 victory over San Francisco.

But things went sour after that. In a 16-14 home loss to St.
Louis, Warner threw three interceptions, then fumbled a snap at the
Rams' 18 with 1:36 to play.

He got one more chance against Atlanta, but he went 11-for-20
for 128 yards with one interception and one lost fumble.
Immediately after the game, coach Dennis Green announced that
Leinart would be the starter.

Warner was not drafted out of Northern Iowa in 1994 but was
signed, then released, as a free agent with the Green Bay Packers.
He played three seasons with the Iowa Barnstormers of the AFL, then
spent a season with Amsterdam in NFL Europe.

He signed with the Rams in 1998, then was named the starter
entering the 1999 season. He responded by leading St. Louis to the
Super Bowl. He was named the league and Super Bowl MVP in the

Two years later, he was league MVP again, but the Rams lost to
New England in the Super Bowl.

But he went down with a hand injury in 2002, and never regained
the starting job for St. Louis. He signed as a free agent with the
Giants in 2004, but was plagued by quarterback sacks and benched in
favor of the rookie Manning after nine games.

Warner signed a one-year deal with Arizona in 2005 and started
10 games. The Cardinals re-signed Warner in February, before the
NFL draft, when Leinart unexpectedly fell to Arizona at the No. 10

Still, Warner was supposed to be the starter all season while
Leinart learned from the sidelines, but that changed with the
veteran's mistake-prone start.