Warner also plans to visit Detroit

Updated: March 4, 2005, 9:00 PM ET
Associated Press

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Kurt Warner said Friday his requirements for what could be the final phase of his career is to find a team where he can compete for a starting job and help build a winner.

Kurt Warner
Quarterback
New York Giants
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp PaTD RuTD Int Rat
277 174 6 1 4 86.5

"I really feel like I can play five or six more years at this point," Warner said Friday during a stopover to visit the Chicago Bears.

On Thursday, he met with the Arizona Cardinals and will go to Detroit on Sunday to check out the Lions.

He plans to weigh his options and said a decision could come quickly, maybe by the weekend.

"I also want to find myself a home. I don't want to be a guy that goes in for a year here, a year there and just kind of survives. I still believe that I have a lot of football left in me," he said.

Arizona, Detroit and Chicago all have young quarterbacks in various stages of development and success.

"I think there's a lot of similarities in all three situations and it comes down to me trying to decipher what's best for me," said Warner, a two-time MVP.

Rex Grossman, the Bears' projected starter, was knocked out in the third game last season with a torn knee ligament and Chicago went through a series of backups -- Jonathan Quinn, Craig Krenzel and Chad Hutchinson. Quinn was released last week. Krenzel and Hutchinson are still on the roster. Grossman is expected to be ready by training camp.

"I think the idea is, of course, Rex being the starter and being the guy that they want to succeed, the guy they drafted. He comes in, I guess in one sense, with a leg up because they want him to be the guy, there's no question. But at the same time, they want the best player on the football field," said Warner, who led the St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowls.

Warner said his ties with Bears head coach Lovie Smith are a factor. Smith was the Rams' defensive coordinator for a portion of the time Warner was in St. Louis.

A year ago, Warner said, Smith advised him against considering the Bears because the situation wasn't right.

Now it has changed with Grossman's injury and a new system in place after Ron Turner was hired as offensive coordinator, following the firing of Terry Shea after one season.

"This year presents more of a competitive-type atmosphere than last year," Warner said.

Warner, who had been bothered by injuries in recent years, completed 174-of-277 passes for 2,054 yards, six touchdowns and four interceptions last season with the Giants. He led New York to a 5-2 start before the team lost its next two games and turned the starting quarterback job over to top draft pick Eli Manning.

Warner said his agent Mark Bartelstein had already discussed contract scenarios with the Cardinals.

"The visits are about trying to find what he thinks is the best place. He's ready to play," Bartelstein said Friday.

Chicago made a quick splash in free agency, signing wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad to a six-year deal with a $12 million signing bonus to upgrade the league's worst offense from a year ago. They subsequently cut former first-round pick David Terrell.

The Bears are also expected to meet next week with two other free agent quarterbacks, Brad Johnson and Jay Fiedler.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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