Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner has been voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Warner joins former Miami Dolphins pass-rusher Jason Taylor, former Denver Broncos running back Terrell Davis, former San Diego Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson former Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and former New Orleans Saints kicker Morten Anderson as the members of the 2017 Hall of Fame class. They were revealed at the NFL Honors show Saturday night.
“We all have dreams, we all believe big things, we all expected greatness from ourselves,” Warner said Saturday night. “I never would have expected (breaking into the league with the Rams in) ’99. I was joking with somebody this week that it took me so long to get here and then in ’99 God placed me in The Greatest Show on Turf with all those other Hall of Famers and I just said, he was thinking, ‘We’re going to make up for lost time. I’m going to give you all this right off the bat.’ What a special season that was, but I think it did help in the process to just start so late but to have so much success early. But I don’t think any of us necessarily imagine it would play out like this. I know I didn’t with all the struggles just to get here.
“But again, at the end of the day, so many times I said, ‘Man, God, could you just change the story a little bit?'” Warner added. “And now that it’s all said and done I look up and I go, ‘God, thank God you didn’t change the story. I don’t want the same story that everyone else has. To me, we all have our different roads we take, but for me, there will be no one else who has my journey, and I will be extremely proud of that.
This was Warner’s third attempt at Canton enshrinement, as he missed out on the Hall of Fame in his first two years of eligibility.
Although Warner played for just five seasons in Arizona, he will forever be a legend for Valley sports fans.
He led the team to its only Super Bowl appearance in 2008, and even though the Cardinals fell to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Warner had an excellent game with 377 passing yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Warner also guided Arizona to NFC West division championships in 2008 and 2009.
Warner threw for 15,843 yards, 100 touchdowns and completed 65.1 percent of his throws in his five years in Arizona. His best statistical year with the Cardinals was in 2008 when he passed for 4,583 yards and 30 touchdowns.
Warner, though, had a successful career before he arrived in Arizona and it’s tough to ignore his time with the St. Louis Rams. Starting in 1999, Warner won two MVP awards and appeared in two Super Bowls with the Rams, winning Super Bowl XXXIV.
Starting in 1999, Warner won two MVP awards and appeared in two Super Bowls with the Rams, winning Super Bowl XXXIV.
Moreover, many of Warner’s NFL records happened in St. Louis, such as being the fastest quarterback to throw for 10,000 yards, and he still holds the record for the most passing yards in a Super Bowl (414 in Super Bowl XXXIV).
Warner took a long road in order to achieve NFL success.
After playing college football at the University of Northern Iowa, Warner attended Green Bay Packers training camp in 1994. Unfortunately, Warner was cut and bagged groceries in Cedar Falls, Iowa in between playing football.
From there Warner turned to the Arena Football League, where he played for the Iowa Barnstormers from 1995 to 1997. Warner also played with NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals in 1998 before he was signed by the Rams.
While Warner had some excellent years with the Rams, it didn’t end for him in the Gateway to the West. In 2002, he missed most of the year with injuries and in 2003 he was benched for Marc Bulger.
Warner was released by the Rams in the following offseason, which led to him signing with the New York Giants. His time in the Big Apple was short-lived, as he was benched after nine starts for No. 1 overall pick Eli Manning.
That led him to sign with the Cardinals. Warner had a career renaissance in Arizona, but his career with the Cardinals did not start off great when he signed in 2005.
In 2005, Warner shared starting time with Josh McCown, and in 2006, started the first four games before being replaced by first-round pick Matt Leinart.
In 2007, Warner began the season backing up Leinart, but in Week 3 started to see some action running the 2-minute offense. Warner took over as the starter after Leinart suffered a season-ending injury in Week 5.
The veteran quarterback took advantage of his opportunity by throwing for 3,417 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions en route to guiding the Cardinals to an 8-8 record, the team’s first non-losing season since 1998.
Warner lives with his wife and seven children in the Valley and serves as an analyst for the NFL Network.
He also is the offensive coordinator for Desert Mountain High School where his son Kade played wide receiver.
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