For the first time since he retired after the 2009 season, former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will be eligible this year to be elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and with a cursory glance at his stats, it seems as though he'll have a decent enough chance of getting there on his first ballot.
But before he gets to all that, the Cardinals franchise has decided to honor him on its own, and the team announced Wednesday that Warner would be inducted into the Cardinals Ring of Honor.
Warner will be the 14th member of the Ring of Honor, and he'll be honored at Arizona's 2014 season openers vs. the Chargers on Monday, Sept. 8.
“One thing I always said to myself was when a team invested in me, that they get their investment's worth,” Warner said during a press conference Wednesday, via the team website. “Going into the Ring of Honor, hopefully that shows (the Cardinals) were happy with your investment.”
Warner had already made his name in the NFL by the time he got to Arizona for the 2005 season. He had led the Rams to the Super Bowl XXXIV title, and from 1999-2001, he recorded a combined 34-8 record as a starter in St. Louis and led the league in completion percentage in each of those three seasons.
But he suffered through two injury-plagued seasons in 2002 and 2003 and then spent a tough 2004 season with the Giants where he eventually gave way to Eli Manning as the team's starter. Then, he landed in Arizona and went to work.
It took Warner until 2007 before he played more than 10 games in Arizona, but in 2008 and 2009, he quarterbacked the team to back-to-back NFC West titles, and he led it to the Super Bowl after the 2008 season, the franchise's only Super Bowl appearance. His 65.1 completion percentage and his 91.9 passer rating are franchise career records.
“To finish my career at that level doing the things we did," Warner said, "I don't know if you could write it much better."