Kurt Warner to Retire?

Euno LeeCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Kurt Warner #13 of the Arizona Cardinals looks on as he stands on the field after their 45-14 loss against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Louisana Superdome on January 16, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

In an interview with Rick Reilly of ESPN , Kurt Warner reportedly plans to retire. 

Citing the difficulties of the season and having "a million other things to do," Kurt Warner may not return to football. This begs the question:

Will Warner's retirement go the route of the Brett Favre media circus?

Warner says no, citing he is "a man of [his] word," and that he will not return if he decides to retire.

Warner, 38, has had an illustrious career, including a Super Bowl XXXIV victory with the St. Louis Rams (and the Super Bowl MVP award), twice being named the Associated Press NFL MVP, twice named to the All-Pro Team, and named to the Pro Bowl five times. 

There is absolutely no question that he will become a Hall of Famer as soon as he is eligible, his return to glory in Arizona and his phenomenal play merited him a Pro Bowl start in 2009 at the age of 37, a testament to his longevity as a quality leader and offensive architect.

Some may argue that Warner's receivers (Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, Anquan Boldin, Larry Fitzgerald, all Pro Bowl receivers in their own right) carried him to glory, but it takes a player to lead an offense to the Super Bowl, and it's another thing when you throw for a Super Bowl record 414 yards, two TD's, and no interceptions on the way to a victory.

Warner has also been on the receiving end of some historically difficult losses; in last year's Super Bowl XLIII, one remembers the game winning drive of Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and the final pass to Santonio Holmes. 

Few remember, however, that Arizona thundered from a 13-point deficit by scoring 16 unanswered points in a clutch fourth quarter performance. 

The man who orchestrated the near-comeback? 

A 37 year-old Warner, who notched the second highest passing yard total in Super Bowl history behind his 414 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Warner's legacy remains uncertain, but one thing is beyond a doubt: Warner was one of the best playoff performers of his generation. His unorthodox grip was imitated by countless children in his heyday with the Rams, and while he may not have as many Super Bowls as he could have had, he's won the big one at least once, and for most players, that's more than enough.