In a move that was hardly unexpected, but which quashes any discussion of real competition at the position, Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green on Wednesday said that Kurt Warner is the team's starting quarterback going into June workouts.
The two-time league most valuable player has been sharp in practices, according to Cardinals sources, and Arizona coaches have been very encouraged in how he has thrown the ball. The team begins organized workouts on June 1.
"He is the right guy for us," Green said. "With team-organized workouts coming up, we just felt like, across the board, his leadership is important for us."
Three-year veteran Josh McCown, who started 13 games in 2004 and suffered through stretches of inconsistency, has also been impressive in recent workouts and the Cardinals feel he is making excellent progress. There were even some reports that McCown might push Warner for the No. 1 job, but Green put those to rest.
It is all but certain, given Wednesday's announcement, that Warner will go to training camp in July as the starter, as well. Last year, in his first season with the team, Green announced his starting lineup for camp when the organized spring activities concluded.
The Cardinals, who signed Warner to a one-year, $4 million contract, represent his third different team in three seasons. Warner, 33, started nine games for the New York Giants in 2004, and completed 174 of 277 passes for 2,054 yards, with six touchdown passes and four interceptions. He eventually lost the starting job to Eli Manning.
There have been concerns that Warner, who suffered through a spate of injuries late in his tenure with the St. Louis Rams, has declined because he has been sacked so much in the past few seasons. But the Arizona coaches contend they've seen no signs of deterioration in terms of arm strength and accuracy.
The Cardinals feel that with Warner throwing to a young and talented wide receivers corps, including Anquan Boldin, Bryant Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, his career could certainly be resuscitated. Warner has said he is confident that he will play well in 2005, one reason he was willing to accept a one-year contract, a deal that would put him back on the open market again next spring.
McCown, 25, is also working on a one-year dealing, having signed the $1.43 million qualifying offer the Cardinals tendered him as a restricted free agent.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here.