Former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner: ‘It’s going to be weird’ seeing Darnell Dockett on the San Francisco 49ers
Kurt Warner played five years with Darnell Dockett. Together, they played the San Francisco 49ers 10 times, winning six matchups, with seven of them being one possession games. They’ve continued to be a big division rival to the Arizona Cardinals, but now Dockett will be on the other side of it.
“With my time here, probably the biggest rival that we had was the 49ers,” Kurt Warner told Burns and Gambo Thursday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “To think he’s on the opposite side of that, that he’s going to be coming into this place and wreaking havoc for the other team and a team that’s not well liked within that division so to speak from a football standpoint, yeah it’s odd. It’s weird. It’s going to be weird seeing him in that uniform.”
Dockett signed a two-year contract worth $7.5 million with the 49ers on Thursday. The Arizona Cardinals released the 33-year-old defensive tackle last week, not wanting to pay him $6.8 million this season. Reports are the Cardinals tried to re-sign Dockett to a one-year, $2.5 million deal with incentives. Dockett was clearly not excited about the offer.
“There’s no question that in this day and age, players feel a lot of lack of loyalty to an organization,” Warner said. “That usually becomes the biggest thing. If the money is anywhere close, they want to go back to where they’ve been and where they’ve established themself. But, they want to feel like they’re wanted. They want to go some place where they feel like the organization is behind them and wants to go out of their way to keep them a part of that organization or make them a part of that organization.”
Fresh off a Super Bowl run in the 2008-09 season, Warner and the Cardinals were also struggling to agree on a deal for his return. Like Dockett, Warner explored his options and the 49ers took an interest. He even went as far as visiting the facility to see if it was a good fit.
“When I went, I had full intentions of listening what they had to say and figuring out if it was the best situation for me and I loved Coach (Mike) Singletary,” Warner said. “There were a lot of things there that I really liked about their situation, but when I sat down in the offensive room and heard from the coaches and heard the kind of system they had, it just didn’t fit me.”
Warner said money wasn’t even discussed at the meeting, he just wanted to finish his career “on a high note.”
“I was at that point where it wasn’t really so much about the money,” Warner said. “It was more about finding the right place and when I came back to Arizona, I told my agent, ‘Let’s figure it out. Let’s get something done because this is where I want to be.'”
Dockett had been with Arizona since he was drafted by the team in 2004. He missed last season because of a torn ACL, but was looking forward to a bounce-back year. Warner said he hasn’t talked to Dockett since the deal went down, but thought he wanted that bounce-back year to be with the Cardinals.
“It’d just be speculation, but just knowing Darnell, it wouldn’t surprise me that I believe he wanted to be back, he wanted to be a Cardinal, he wanted to be a part of what they’re building here,” Warner said. “That was the sense I got the times I talked to him that he loved being here.”