Warner, Cards still talking deal
Agent Mark Bartelstein said Warner deserves a salary among the top "four or five" quarterbacks in the league, no matter where he plays. According to Bartelstein, those five earn an average of about $14.5 million per year.
In an interview with The Associated Press Tuesday night, Bartelstein declined to say what the Cardinals were offering.
"It's unfortunate," Bartelstein said. "I thought it would get done quickly, but it hasn't. We'll keep working on it."
Barring an agreement, Warner will become a free agent on Friday.
In an interview on Sporting News Radio, the 37-year-old quarterback said he was leaning toward either signing with Arizona or retiring.
At this point in his career, Warner said, "you don't want to go and start over, you don't want to have to rebuild. You want to be able to be a part of something you're comfortable with, where the pieces are in place to be successful."
Warner also doesn't want to move his wife and seven children.
His comments add to the leverage the Cardinals have in their negotiations, but Bartelstein said it would be unfair to pay the quarterback less than he deserves just because he wants to stay put.
Cardinals general manager Rod Graves did not return a message left on his cell phone.
Bartelstein downplayed Warner's comments, saying, "things change quickly. ... When the phone rings, you've got to listen."
Warner was a bargain last season, earning about $4 million plus incentives at the controls of a prolific passing game that led the Cardinals on an improbable run to the Super Bowl.
In four playoff games, Warner completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,147 yards and 11 touchdowns, with three interceptions.
"The last Kurt or I want is for anyone to feel sorry for him," Bartelstein said. "That's not his or my style."
But Warner said that pay is the way an organization can show its commitment to a player and his value to a team.
"My bottom line is I want to keep this team together and I want to have a chance to win a championship and that's the most important thing," Warner said in the radio interview, "and I want to be compensated as well because I know these are probably going to be the last two years I'm going to play."
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press