By Derek Lofland.
Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner announced that he was retiring from the NFL today. Unless he decides to do a Brett Favre and unretire in August, we should be able to discuss his legacy and place in NFL history today.
I have written several times before that I believe Warner should be inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. However, I do not believe he is one of the top 10 quarterbacks in NFL history. Let us discuss.
Why Kurt Warner is a Hall of Famer: The impressive numbers he put up are just impossible to ignore. Warner played for the St. Louis Rams from 1998 to 2003, the New York Giants in 2004 and the Arizona Cardinals from 2005 to 2009. He is the only quarterback in NFL history to have 100 plus touchdown passes for two franchises (Rams and Cardinals). In his 12-year NFL career he had 2,666 completions in 4,070 attempts, a 65.5 completion percentage, 32,344 passing yards, 208 touchdown passes, 128 interceptions and a QB rating of 93.7.
Warner is third in career QB rating among quarterbacks with 4,000 career passing attempts, trailing only Hall of Fame QB and former San Francisco 49er Steve Young (96.8) and future Hall of Fame and current Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning (95.2). Those statistics allowed him to capture the AP NFL MVP Award in 1999 and 2001. The only players with more than one MVP Award are Cleveland Browns RB Jim Brown, Baltimore Colts QB Johnny Unitas, San Francisco 49ers QB Joe Montana, Young, Favre (in his Green Bay Packer days) and Manning. All of those players not only are or will be first ballot Hall of Fame Players; those are legends of the game.
The most impressive part of Warner's resume is that as good as he was in the regular season, he was even better in the post season. Warner's teams posted a 9-4 record in the postseason and qualified for three Super Bowls. Those nine playoff wins are a record for an undrafted quarterback. In three NFC Championship Games, he was 3-0. He won a Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams in 1999 and was the Super Bowl MVP. He was also the runner up in 2001 with the Rams and in 2008 with the Cardinals. His teams lost those games by a combined seven points...