Bay Area Sports Fan!

A blog for a Bay Area Sports Fan

Warming To Warner

Posted by davefowkes on 03/02/2009

As rumored, Kurt Warner is scheduled to visit the 49ers this week to discuss a move within the NFC West. After being very tepid on the idea to begin with, I am starting to warm to the idea of Kurt Warner as your starting QB for the San Francisco 49ers in 2009!

First, let me be clear, I think most of this is a smoke screen by Warner, his agent and probably the 49ers to jack up the price that Arizona pays for Warner. In some ways I correlate this story to Manny Ramirez negotiations between the Dodgers and Giants. Sure the Giants are there but it is mostly about getting the most dollars out of Los Angeles. Same story here, Kurt Warner fits best in Arizona, everyone knows it, it is where he should end up, but can they agree on the number to make it work. Then again, reports indicate the 49ers chartered a plane and limo to deliver the Warners to Santa Clara, maybe this is a real pitch! 

Now that said, if Arizona does not back down, and the 49ers step up, here are the reasons I like the move. Warner at this age would clearly be the best QB on the 49ers roster. Sean Hill and Alex Smith could battle for backup positions and the 49ers could start drafting mid-round QBs until they hit on one they like long term.

One way to get better in your division is to make your rivals worse! The Cardinals without Warner are clearly not as good a team as they are with him. If  you make the argument that Warner wins the 49ers and extra 2 games just by being there, that is a 9-7 record which might just win the division next year. Without Warner, do the Cardinals hit 500?

Now the downside and the reason I was originally against this idea. How good a QB is Warner? Warner’s great successes has been when he is surrounded by great players. He ran the greatest show on turf to perfection in St. Louis. He had Arizona’s offense humming with Larry Fitgerald and Anquin Boldin. But in between he was pretty mediocre at the end of his days in St. Louis and that quick stop he had in New York. Even his first few years in Arizona found him on the bench.

The 49ers are not looking to pass. They do not have great WRs. How would Warner fit in on that Baltimore-west offense with a lack of great receivers and maybe questionable pass blocking in front of him. I do NOT believe that Warner is the type of QB that makes everybody around him better! I think he is a great QB at taking advantage of great talent around him. Not sure that is the case here in San Francisco.

So bottom line: Warner is a good signing because he is an upgrade and it weakens the rival. It is a bad signing if they give him too much money and tie up to much cap space in him rather than developing a new “QB of the future.” If it works out, I consider this to be more good than bad. But in the end I still think this is about driving Arizona’s price up! It will be an interest week in the NFC West!

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