49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 27, 2009
Does Warner-to-SF pass the smell test?

Gotta come clean here. I heard about the Kurt Warner-to-San Francisco possibility two days ago. I thought about. I wrestled with it. And in the end, I didn't buy it, so I didn't write it. Sure, it has some merit. With one fell swoop, the 49ers would severely weaken the top team in their division while adding a soon-to-be hall of famer. Shaun Hill is solid. Alex Smith has potential. But with Warner, the 49ers would have an unquestioned starter.

What kept me from writing it was this question: Why the heck would Warner want to leave Arizona for San Francisco? Arizona's offense is perfectly suited for him. San Francisco's promises to rely on the run. Arizona has the top receiver in the league. At the moment, San Francisco has Arnaz Battle, Jason Hill and Josh Morgan. (Though the addition of Warner likely would prompt Isaac Bruce to commit to another year). Arizona has an offensive-minded head coach. San Francisco's top guy is an ex-linebacker. Arizona plays indoors. San Francisco does not. If Warner signed with the 49ers, he would have to uproot his entire family. And would the 49ers want to pay $13 or $14 million a year for a guy who turns 38 in June?

Most of all, I hesitated because of this quote from earlier this month: "There is no question I want to finish my career as an Arizona Cardinal," Warner told reporters. "If I am going to play, I don't want it to be anywhere else."

If this is all leverage, Warner's agents are smart to use the 49ers. They are short at least one quarterback, they've got plenty of cap room and they're in the same division. And who knows, maybe the 49ers are playing along in an effort to get Smith to sign his new contract. But to me, the whole thing smells fishy.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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