Monday, February 23, 2009

So, You're Saying We Have a Chance?

In the aftermath of the Super Bowl, Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Kurt Warner said he would rely on God in determining whether he would return to play in 2009. Apparently, God was listening--something he must not have been doing during the Super Bowl--and he wants Kurt to continue to play in the NFL. That should be good news for the Cardinals. Instead, it sounds like it might well be good news for some other team. Like the Minnesota Vikings.

After consulting with God, Warner made clear that his preference was to remain in Arizona. And he made it sound like he would take a discount to do so, contending that he hoped to retire as a Cardinal.

How quickly things change.

After the Cardinals reportedly made a typical Cardinal low-ball offer of $10 million for one year, Warner's agent began making the rounds suggesting that, while Warner would prefer to retire in a Cardinal uniform, he would "be foolish not to listen to other offers."

That's not just agent-speak, that's a genuine shot across the bow of the cheapest owner in the NFL--an owner who lucked out by assembling a Super Bowl caliber team with no money down.

The Cardinals' cheapness, and Warner's desire to sign for two more years, plays directly into the hands of Minnesota's needs. What once looked like a $20 million expenditure might now be available for far less--all thanks to the Cardinals and the limited options for Warner of going to a team on the cusp of a championship.

With money in the bank and the need only for two or three more players, one of them being quarterback, to make a run at the Super Bowl for the first time in over three decades, the Vikings ought to be salivating at the turn of events in the desert.

If the Vikings can add Warner for $15 million--once presumed to be the offer that the Cardinals would make to retain their starting quarterback and should-have-been NFL MVP--that would leave Minnesota with nearly as much free-agent money to sign an offensive lineman and a wide receiver, and to re-sign center Matt Birk and tight end Jim Kleinsasser.

Suddenly, an offense featuring Adrian Peterson, Chester Taylor, Bernard Berrian, TJ Houshmandzadeh, Jim Kleinsasser, and Kurt Warner, and an offensive line of Bryant McKinnie, Steve Hutchinson, Matt Birk, Mike Goff, and somebody to play right tackle, looks not only possible, but eminently feasible and very appealing.

History suggests that God does not care for the Vikings. If that is not the case, however, this year would be the year for him to prove otherwise, with a divine word spoken in the word of Warner a good starting point.

Up Next: Free Agency.

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