TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Kurt Warner, the quarterback who led the Arizona Cardinals to their only Super Bowl appearance, will become the 14th person inducted into the team’s Ring of Honor.
Warner, with the Cardinals from 2005 through 2009, directed Arizona to NFC West titles in his final two seasons. The 2008 team advanced to the Super Bowl, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers on a touchdown in the final seconds.
He had 22 career 300-yard passing games with Arizona and 22 consecutive games with a touchdown pass. He completed 65.1 percent of his passes for the Cardinals with a 91.9 passer rating, both franchise records.
The induction will take place at the team’s season opener against San Diego on Monday night, Sept. 8.
“I think now is the right time, especially with this being the first year of his eligibility (for the Pro Football Hall of Fame),” Cardinals President Michael Bidwill said at a news conference. “The first game on national television, we think it’s the right time, and he’s definitely the right player. You just look at his whole NFL career, but especially what he did here for the Arizona Cardinals.”
Warner also quarterbacked the St. Louis Rams to two Super Bowls, winning one of them but many felt he was past his prime when he arrived in Arizona.
“The thing that I always think about is how the Cardinal organization gave me an opportunity when not many teams out there were going to give me an opportunity,” he said. “The one thing that I always say to myself is, ‘I want to make sure that when a team invests in me, that they get their investment worth,”
The Cardinals were an NFL wasteland and Warner had been replaced with the New York Giants when he came to Arizona.
“A lot of people looked at the Cardinals organization and said, ‘Well, they’ll never get to this point,'” Warner said at news conference to announce the honor. “Everybody was looking at me and saying, ‘Well, he’s never getting back to that point.’ So I thought it would be a great marriage”
Warner is eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. Eleven of the 14 people in the Cardinals Ring of Honor are in the Hall of Fame.
That group includes “some friends of mine — Dan Dierdorf and Aeneas Williams, all the Hall of Famers,” Warner said. “Just humbled to be considered in that group.”
“The franchise dates back to 1898. When you think about the men that are in that Ring of Honor, there are now going to be 14,” Bidwill said. “They are the best of the best, not just in the Cardinals history, but really in the league too, because as you know, 11 of those 13 are also in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We hope that Kurt finds his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame very soon. ”
Bidwill noted the work Warner and wife Brenda do with their First Things First foundation.
“It’s not only about the way that he performed on the field and with the class that he performed on the field,” Bidwill said, “but also what he did off the field.”
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