Source: Warner looks at options

Updated: February 28, 2009, 10:31 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Kurt Warner's agent declined to say whether his client had scheduled visits with any other teams now that the Arizona Cardinals quarterback has become a free agent.

"I really don't want to get into the specifics with that," Mark Bartelstein said. "Obviously, people are calling."

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Warner's agent has had in-depth conversations with San Francisco 49ers officials, a source told Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com.

Warner became a free agent Friday after he and the Cardinals failed to reach a deal on a new contract. The 37-year-old quarterback has made it clear that he wants to remain in Arizona for what probably would be the final two years of his career.

Bartelstein said he and the Cardinals continue to talk.

"Nothing's changed other than free agency has started," he said Friday evening. "It's an hour-by-hour situation is the best way I can put it."

Bartelstein said Warner deserves a salary to match his status after leading the unheralded Cardinals to the Super Bowl last season. The agent said that would be an average of the top five paid players at his position, about $14.5 million.

But Warner's age -- he will be 38 when next season starts -- could hold down any interest in him and lower the amount he will be paid.

If he can't strike a deal in Arizona, Warner could end up playing against the Cardinals twice annually. The 49ers play in the NFC West, as do the Cardinals.

The 49ers' woes at quarterback were thought to have been resolved when the team selected Alex Smith with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. But because of ineffectiveness and injuries, including a shoulder injury that required surgery last year, Smith's future in San Francisco is shaky.

San Francisco would likely have to pay Warner more than the $10 million to $12 million per year its offering. If Warner accepted an offer from the 49ers, economics along with the team's spotty quarterback play, would dictate that he go to the Bay Area as the starter.

The 49ers have used eight different starting quarterbacks the past three seasons, and landing Warner, even at his age, would provide much-needed stability at the position.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.