Quarterback joins Arizona at top of depth chart

PHOENIX -- Kurt Warner agreed Sunday to a one-year, $4
million contract with the Arizona Cardinals, the two-time MVP's
third team in three seasons.

The 33-year-old quarterback, who lost his starting job with the
Giants to rookie Eli Manning last season, is to sign the contract
and appear at a news conference in Arizona on Tuesday.

Warner, a former Arena Football League player, was a three-time
Pro Bowl selection with the St. Louis Rams. He led the Rams to the
Super Bowl in 1999 and 2001, beating Tennessee and winning MVP in
the 2000 game.

But after losing the starting job to Marc Bulger in St. Louis,
he signed a one-year deal with the Giants before last season.

Warner visited the Cardinals on Thursday, then made a trip to
Chicago for a meeting with Bears officials.

"From the beginning of this process, I was looking for the best
situation for myself and my family and the Cardinals clearly
represent that," Warner said in a statement released by the
Cardinals. "We are very impressed with the direction the
organization is headed in and couldn't be more excited to be a part
of it. Even though this is a one-year deal, I really don't want to
go anywhere else and would like nothing more than to end my career
by helping the Cardinals win a championship."

That's a heady goal for a franchise that has had one winning
season, and one playoff appearance, since moving to the desert from
St. Louis in 1988.

During his stop in Arizona, Warner emphasized that he wanted a
long-term contract, preferably for four years, but he settled for a
one-year deal.

"Kurt wanted an opportunity to come in and prove that he was
certainly deserving of a higher valued contract later down the
road," said Rod Graves, Cardinals vice president for football
operations. "But the important thing for his agent, Mark
Bartlestein, and I was to get a contract now. This was the place he
wanted to be. We wanted him."

Warner completed 174-of-277 passes for 2,054 yards, six
touchdowns and four interceptions last season with the Giants,
going 5-2 as a starter. But he was criticized for often holding the
ball too long.

Warner's last game as a starter came in Arizona when he was
sacked six times in the Cardinals' 17-14 victory over the Giants.

Warner has made it clear that he expects to be a starter, and
Arizona coach Dennis Green made it clear that the opportunity for
him is there. The Cardinals starter most of last season, Josh
McCown, will be back next season.

"Bringing Kurt Warner on board this fast-moving train is very,
very exciting," Green said in a statement. "He's proven he's one
of the best competitors in the National Football League, regardless
of position, and is one of the bravest quarterbacks ever to play
the position.

"Kurt is one important element in building this football team
that will help us win a championship."

Warner is the second player to agree to terms with the Cardinals
in the past two days. On Friday, offensive tackle Oliver Ross
signed a five-year, $17.5 million contract -- $6.3 million of it in
bonus and first-year salary.