45-Year-Old Quarterback – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
There was no outlook written for Kurt Warner in 2016. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Kurt Warner Contract Information:
Retired in January of 2010.
Warner turned down the Cards' attempts to bring him back from retirement this summer, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
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|Passing||Pass Distance||Big Pass Games||Rushing||Fumbles|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Passing Stats||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Kurt Warner: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Kurt Warner.
It’s amazing to consider that last summer the Cardinals were still leaning toward Matt Leinart, who now doesn’t even merit inclusion here – that’s how far removed Leinart is from starter consideration barring a Warner injury. Warner last year proved that the biggest NFL myth around is that you need to run to set up the pass. The Cardinals were last and completely inept on the ground all year. (Another myth: passing well opens up the run.) Still, Warner completed more than two thirds of his passes and generated 7.7 YPA throwing to the best receiver in the world in Larry Fitzgerald, and someone about as good in Anquan Boldin. But there’s the rub. At press time, Boldin and agent Drew Rosenhaus were still trying to orchestrate a trade. But the Cardinals didn’t draft a wide receiver, not that Boldin could be reasonably replaced via that route. Instead, the team opted to salvage its running game by drafting Chris Wells (Ohio State) to pair with Tim Hightower and new third-down back Jason Wright (signed as a free agent from Cleveland). Warner tossed 30 TDs and had more than 300 yards passing eight times including the Super Bowl against an all-time caliber Pittsburgh pass defense. He’s thrown for 300-plus yards in an all-time record 45.2 percent of his career regular-season starts. So 4,500 yards again is very projectable, assuming health and Boldin. Perhaps the run-pass splits will be less in his favor this year, but the Cardinals consistently tried to run last year and now must know that their bread is buttered by the passing game. Good news, too, is that the defense is still a work in progress with weaknesses at rush linebacker and at corner, unless free-agent import Bryant McFadden shines. Given the Cardinals have championship aspirations, and their window likely ends at the conclusion of the 38-year-old Warner’s career, we doubt Boldin is going anywhere. This ranking assumes he will line up opposite of Fitzgerald on opening day. If he does not, Warner slides down several spots – toward the back of the top 10.
Matt Leinart is the likely starter at press time. That's depressing given the production that Warner generated last year. But that production was more fantasy-oriented than reality-based: Warner's first-down YPA of 7.44 was barely average, and he had a terrible 5:8, TD:INT ratio on those throws. FAS was lacking: 70.8 QB rating there, way below average. He was great, though, at converting attempts throughout the red zone thanks to the supreme playmaking ability of wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. Warner was Joe Montana, though, compared to Leinart, who took a big step back from 2006. Leinart's also coming off a broken collarbone and might be even more skittish in the pocket as a result. There's also a significant chance that there's a QB committee like last year when, before Leinart's injury, the Cardinals opted to use Warner in two-minute drills and near the goal line, effectively making neither QB playable. The fantasy upside lies with Leinart because if he has a good summer, seizes the job and performs well, he's cemented as the starter. Warner will always be threatened by Leinart unless he's at the top of his game and the Cardinals are playoff bound; how likely is that? Not very.
Warner is strictly a backup in 2007 unless starting quarterback Matt Leinart gets hurt. He's still a capable signal-caller at age 36, but it's hard to justify a handcuff pick unless your league is very deep.
His projection assumes 13 starts because of Warner’s age and injury history. On a per-game basis, these fantasy numbers are solidly in the top tier. If you’re in a 10- or even 12-team, one-QB league, draft on the basis of his per-game ranking because replacement value at QB is so high. Starter-worthy QBs are available late in every draft, and injuries create additional free- agent opportunities throughout the season. Warner is a caretaker now for Leinart, but that transition isn’t likely to begin until 2007 because Dennis Green thinks he can win now, and he has almost no chance to do that with a rookie signal caller. Should the Cardinals struggle again in ’06, Green will likely give Leinart a starting audition. The aforementioned injury risk with Warner is a factor in his valuation, but Green is committed to protecting better and reducing the Cardinals sack total last year (45, but in 670 attempts; so the first step is reducing the number of obvious passing downs). The Cardinals were first in overall pass percentage last year, but had no running game and looked to change that with the signing of Edgerrin James. Regardless, the Cards will throw early and often given their dynamic receivers, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. These weapons are why you’re drafting Warner, as they helped the Cards finish third in the NFL last year with 31 pass plays of more than 25 yards and No. 1 in pass yardage. Warner is still a very efficient short-range passer, as only 12.5 percent of his throws were poor last year after he really struggled with accuracy in ’04. But he must improve his 71 QB rating on 11-to-20 yard throws to keep Leinart at bay. And he needs to start faster, as he threw a pitiful three TDs in 176 first half attempts, including zero in the first quarter. Warner averaged 8.23 yards on first down attempts, and Green called the fifth-highest percentage of those passes in ’05. Warner’s 95.5 QB rating on 47 attempts late and close is indicative of a former league MVP, as is his 101 rating in the red zone, where he converted 28 percent of attempts into TD passes. Hopefully, James will help lead the Cardinals there more often in ’06. 9/3 Update: Warner had a very good preseason (33-of-45, 381 yards, three touchdowns and one interception). He is healthy heading into the regular season. Warner is a risky pick because of his injury history, but has potential as the leader of a potent offense. If you pick him, it would be a good idea to grab Leinart as insurance.
Still easily the reigning career YPA champion among active players with 20-plus games started, Warner’s 8.4 mark is far better than that of his closest competitors – Manning, Green, Bulger and Culpepper. Of course, most of that damage was done in his Rams heyday, but even in half a season with the Giants, Warner averaged 7.4 while throwing just four picks in 277 pass attempts. Of course, he only threw six touchdowns in that span as well, but chalk some of that up to aging wideouts in Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard, who never found the end zone all year, with or without Warner. In short, Warner’s stint with the Giants was more encouraging than discouraging, though with Eli Manning in the fold, his tenure was likely to be short-lived no matter what. Warner finds himself in a good spot in 2005, heading to a warm-weather city with a talented, young receiving corps and the starting job comfortably in hand. Moreover, a long list of quarterbacks has thrived in coach Denny Green’s offensive system including Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George and Culpepper, so there’s a good deal of upside here if Warner can stay healthy.
Warner was released by the Rams in early June and promptly signed with the Giants for a base salary of $3 million, a $1.5 million signing bonus and various incentives. He’ll compete with Eli Manning in training camp for the starting job and likely prevail, unless Manning has a phenomenal camp. But even assuming Warner wins the job, it’s hard to see him putting up big numbers in a Tom Coughlin-style offense and the Giants’ porous offensive line protecting him. Still, if the line does a serviceable job, Warner could put up passable fantasy numbers this season, given the Giants’ decent skill-position talent around him.
While Warner might not be the best-suited QB to lead the Rams into 2003 – Marc Bulger clearly has a stronger arm and might be a better decision-maker in the pocket – St. Louis coach Mike Martz seems determined to give Warner every chance to get his job back. And given the playmates Warner has to work with (Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce), he certainly has a chance to finish the year as a top-five fantasy quarterback. Nonetheless, it's a mistake to make Warner one of the top five quarterbacks picked in your draft, no matter what his upside is. He's got no running ability, and if Warner does slump early in the year, coach Mike Martz will have to consider the option of benching No. 13 in favor of Bulger.