Warner Wants to Stay, What About Leinart

Quarterback Kurt Warner would like to play two more years, and Cardinals management said it's interested in re-signing him. While the two sides haven't resumed serious negotiations, they are expected to begin talks in the coming few weeks.

Kurt Warner is due to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and he wants to stay in Arizona. His family, including his wife Brenda and seven kids, are settled in the Phoenix area, and certainly the Cardinals offense suits him.

If Warner re-signs, however, it's questionable where that leaves backup Matt Leinart, the 10th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

In two years, Leinart will be 27, so it's hard to see him waiting patiently until 2010 for a starting job.

Leinart said he's not worried about the situation right now.

"Obviously I want to play," he said. "I want to play now. I want to play next year but right now we're winning, and right now we're doing well, and right now, I'm learning to be a better player."

If Warner does come to terms, it's possible the Cardinals could try to trade him. But there are drawbacks to that. Warner is 37 and injuries are always a concern.

Leinart said the future has crossed his mind, but he's not worrying about it.

"I plan on being the quarterback here for a long time," Leinart said. "That's why I came here in the first place. I love it here, so nothing has really crossed my mind."

Warner has entrenched himself as the starter this year. His numbers are strikingly similar to those he posted in his MVP seasons of 1999 and 2001. On his current pace, he would finish with about 4,800 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, which would merit him some consideration for a third MVP.

SERIES HISTORY: 59th meeting. The Rams lead, 30-26-2, but the Cardinals have won three straight and four of the past five, including the past three at the Edward Jones Dome. Quarterback Kurt Warner returns to St. Louis, where he led the Rams to two Super Bowls and won two MVP awards. Warner is enjoying that kind of season this year and is on pace to pass for nearly 4,800 yards and 32 touchdowns. The Cardinals could create some distance from the rest of the NFC West with a victory. At 4-3, they have a two-game lead over the Rams (2-5) and Seahawks. This is the first of three straight against NFC West foes for the Cardinals. It's their first division game since they beat the 49ers in the season opener.

NOTES, QUOTES

--Coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't committed to starting running back Edgerrin James the rest of the season.

"I think we're going to go with the players that give us the best chance to win," he said. "We did that with the quarterback, we did that at linebacker, we did that with the offensive line. So if we feel Tim (Hightower) gives us the best chance to win, then absolutely."

--Anquan Boldin has seven touchdown receptions this year to lead the NFL even though he's missed two games. Boldin's career high is nine, set last year.

--There was concern in preseason about how the Cardinals were going to replace Bryant Johnson, the No. 3 receiver. Last year, Johnson had 48 catches for 528 yards. Steve Breaston has filled the role quite well. He has 33 receptions for 392 yards.

BY THE NUMBERS: 1988 -- That's the last time the Cardinals had a winning record after eight games. That was the team's first season in Arizona.


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