Warner will announce plans Friday
PHOENIX — Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner will hold a news conference Friday to announce whether he will retire from the game, his agent said.
Mark Bartelstein, in a telephone interview Wednesday, said the announcement will be made at the Cardinals’ training facility in Tempe. Bartelstein declined to reveal Warner’s decision.
The 38-year-old quarterback, who has led two franchises to the Super Bowl and one to the NFL title, strongly has considered retirement in the wake of a season that saw him miss a game with a concussion. He led the Cardinals to an 11-7 season, including a wild playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers, one year after directing the Cardinals on a stunning run to the Super Bowl.
Warner has one year left, worth about $11.5 million, on the two-year contract he signed before last season. But the day after the Cardinals were eliminated in a 45-14 loss to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional playoffs, he said money would not be a significant factor in his decision.
‘‘I don’t want to come back just to get the paycheck or just because I’ve signed that contract if I can’t do everything that I would want to do or if I’m not willing to do everything that I’ve done in the past,’’ Warner said. ‘‘That’s the bottom line.’’
He said that although he loves the games, it’s the long hours of physical and mental preparation that wear on him.
‘‘The farther I’ve gotten into this, the more and more I demand of myself — that’s physically staying in shape because I’m older, that’s mentally preparing and putting in work and time to try to help put this thing together the way that I want it put together,’’ Warner said. ‘‘All that stuff gets more and more a burden every year.’’
If Warner decides to step away, it will be the end of a remarkable story of rags to riches to rags then riches again. After toiling in the Arena Football League and NFL Europe, with a stint stocking grocery shelves, Warner was 28 when injuries to others made him the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams.
What followed was a magical season that ended with the Rams winning the Super Bowl and Warner being named the league and Super Bowl MVP. He got the ‘‘Greatest Show on Turf’’ back to the title game two years later, but the Rams lost to the New England Patriots.