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This offseason Sprint is will be sponsoring a number of posts regarding "game changing offseason moves". Every other week we'll pick an important offseason move that counts as a game changer. The Cardinals have been one of the busiest teams - good or bad - this offseason. The first move was the retirement of Kurt Warner.
Kurt Warner Retires From The Game
In one of the first big moves of the offseason, quarterback Kurt Warner retired from the NFL. He made an improbable run to the Super Bowl possible in 2008 and also led the Cardinals to the divisional round of the playoffs last season. Kurt was what kept the offense going and the Cardinals were never out of a game with him at quarterback. The loss of Warner will prove to be costly, as a future Hall of Fame player can never be replaced easily.
Matt Leinart's long wait to start at quarterback is now over with Warner out of the picture. He'll get the opportunity to prove that he was worth the 10th overall selection in 2006 and hopefully pick up where Warner led off. He won't have the same arm and "run and gun" instincts that Kurt did, but he has the tools around him to succeed in the NFL. Most critics fail to realize that he was competing with Warner - the same Warner who was rejuvenated and playing at an MVP-like form.
The loss of Warner also brings up a new question - will there be a quarterback controvery in training camp? The Cardinals were forced to find a new back up and they did when they signed Derek Anderson. Anderson certainly has something to prove and he wouldn't have taken the job in Arizona if there wouldn't be a quarterback battle in the training camp. Will he give Leinart a run for his money or will be prove that his one pro bowl season in Cleveland was a fluke?
Finally, the Cardinals high-powered offense will completely be revamped with Warner now retired. The Cardinals can't expect to see the same four wide receiver sets with Leinart behind center. They'll become a run first team with Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower leading the way. Losing Warner did hurt the team, but it also brought a new opportunity for the Cardinals to become a dominant rushing team and for Leinart to answer the critics.