Former Cardinals QB Kurt Warner once again a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist

Nov 17, 2016, 7:51 AM | Updated: 11:20 am
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner (13) prepares to throw the ball during an NFL football di...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner (13) prepares to throw the ball during an NFL football divisional playoff game in New Orleans against the New Orleans Saints, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

For the third straight year, former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is a semifinalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Warner was one of 26 men named Wednesday as a 2017 semifinalist. The list was pared down from 94 potential inductees during the Gold Jacket Semifinalists special, which aired on NFL Network.

After a storybook stint with the St. Louis Rams that included two league MVP awards and a Super Bowl championship, Warner signed as a free agent with the Cardinals in 2005. He was a starter for parts of his first three seasons in Arizona, but won the job on a full-time basis over Matt Leinart in 2007.

The next year, 2008, Warner led the Cardinals to their first and only NFC Championship, and nearly a Super Bowl title. His 64-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald with 2:37 left in Super Bowl XLIII gave Arizona a 23-20 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers. But it wasn’t to be, as Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger found Santonio Holmes in the end zone on a 6-yard scoring strike with :35 remaining to dash the Cardinals’ hopes.

Warner picked up right where he left off in 2009, throwing for 3,753 yards and 26 touchdowns for a Cardinals team that went 10-6 and won its second straight NFC West crown. He retired following the season.

He’s not the only former Cardinal on the list of semifinalists.

Running back Edgerrin James, also a member of the Cardinals’ Super Bowl squad, is also up for induction. After signing a huge free-agent deal in 2006, James spent three years in red and white, and his 2,895 rushing yards top the franchise list since the team relocated from St. Louis in 1988. James spent most of his career with the Indianapolis Colts, where he was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Guard Alan Faneca ended his career with the Cardinals in 2010 after playing 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and two with the New York Jets. Faneca, a nine-time Pro Bowler and six-time First Team All-Pro, started all 16 games on the offensive line in his only season in Arizona.

Former Cardinals head coach Don Coryell is also one of the final 26. Coryell coached the team while it was based in St. Louis from 1973 to 1977 and led them to a 42-27-1 record and two NFC East division titles before moving on to take over the San Diego Chargers, where he coached until 1986.

Warner and Coryell were both finalists for induction last season.

The 2017 Hall of Fame class will be introduced on Feb. 4, the day before Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas.

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