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Did Kurt Warner Retire Because Arizona Cardinals Are Cheap?

Former NFL scout Dave Razzano is at it again. He is stirring the pot. Right around the 2011 NFL Draft, he could be heard making some claims that were against the grain. He said that Von Miller would be a bust, saying he has some Vernon Gholston in him. He also claimed that Jake Locker was the best QB prospect in the draft, comparing him to Brett Favre. (I will say I LOVE Locker and agree with him to a point in his evaluation of the former Washington QB.)

This time around, seemingly for no reason, he chimes in about something he "heard" about Kurt Warner's retirement after the 2009 season. 

I'm not sure what prompted it, but he tweeted this:

K Warner's people told me he wanted to continue playing but decided to retire after being lowballed. Look at team now. I'm pissed if a fanless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply


Honestly, this sounds a little bit out there. 

It is true that the Cardinals have long had the reputation of being cheap. That's not new. It is also true that after the 2008 season when Warner was a free agent, contract negotiations were not a walk in the park.

Reportedly, Warner was seeking to be paid in the range of $14-16 million per year, as a top five quarterback in the league. He even visited the 49ers and was offered a contract that would pay him near that. Instead, he settled on a two-year deal worth $23 million.

According to reports, the deal was broken down as a $4 million salary for 2009 and again in 2010, with a $15 million signing bonus. That meant essentially he would be guaranteed to be the starter for two years because the team would have had to have paid him almost the entire contract amount. 

Fast forward to early 2010 when he retired. He kept saying it was about being done with football. When the 2010 season was starting to roll around, he even once said that he didn't even have a little desire to be out there playing. 

I don't know what "people" Razzano spoke to, but it just doesn't make sense. If Warner felt like he was lowballed a year earlier, why would he not have taken the more lucrative deal and why would he wait to retire a whole year. If he really wanted to keep playing, he should have done so and then gotten another contract. It just doesn't make sense. 

Razzano's claim seem suspicious because of a couple of things. One, he was let go by the team some time ago. He was a scout for the Cardinals after having worked for the 49ers and also the Rams. Secondly, in a later tweet, he says that he "wouldn't be shocked" if the Cards tried to lowball Larry Fitzgerald. The issue is that he claims that the Cards have only two playoff wins in 88 years. That is just an ignorant claim. They have four playoff wins in the past three seasons and another from the 1998 season. 

In the end, don't you all think that if Warner felt disrespected that he would have left without signing a contract after the 2008 season? 

It may not be too far fetched that the Cardinals during negotiations perhaps tried to lowball him, but they paid him a lot of money in the end -- $19 million for his one year (unless he only got half of the bonus at the contract signing). According to Razzano, we are supposed to believe that he was sticking it to the organization by taking what amounted to $19 million for one year instead of playing and getting the full $23 million for both seasons. Knowing what we know about Warner as a person, wouldn't this, if it were true, go against all he portrays himself to be and make him a hypocrite and a liar? 

I can't bring myself to believe that, so I have to look at Razzano's claim as nothing more than sour grapes and throwing stuff out there to drive people to the site he has been blogging for. The other way means I have to worry about the franchise still and I have to think differently about the man who lifted it up to its greatest glory.