The ending everyone and their brother saw coming before this movie (bad romantic comedy?) was minutes old has finally played out: Kurt Warner and the Cardinals have agreed to terms on a two-year deal for $23 million, $19 million of it guaranteed, according to agent Mark Bartelstein. Warner has yet to sign on the dotted line, but the expectation is that he will do so later today. The contract is essentially the one Bartelstein faxed to the Cardinals hours after Warner and wife, Brenda, were wined and dined by the 49ers.
Bartelstein said that the $23 million is signficantly less than what the 49ers were willing to pay, although the 49ers never made a formal offer. "The 49ers and I talked conceptually about things, about the range we wanted to be in," Bartelstein said.
Bartelstein added: "I didn't feel right getting into specifics with them until Kurt was ready to pull the trigger. I didn't want them to feel used. ... I really do respect that the 49ers handled this in a first-class way. They really gave a good presentation and gave Kurt something to think about." Note: Warner didn't spend very long ruminating over this. The Warners flew back that night and Bartelstein faxed an offer to the Cardinals the next morning.
In fact, the last two free-agent visitors to Santa Clara have left town without signing a deal with the 49ers. Defensive tackle Demetric Evans flew back to the Washington D.C. area this morning and now must decide between the Redskins and the 49ers. As a Redskin, Evans would line up next two Albert Haynesworth (read: no double teams) and continue to play defensive tackle. For the 49ers, Evans likely would play left defensive end in the 49ers' 3-4 scheme. His responsibilities would be similar to those of a
3-4 4-3 tackle. Another DT-DE the 49ers were eyeing, Kenny Peterson, has decided to remain with the Broncos. No other free-agent visits are scheduled at this time.
-- Matt Barrows