Giants finally sign Warner

The Giants finally acquired the veteran quarterback they sought by signing Kurt Warner, a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player and the highest-rated passer in league history.

Warner, who spent his first six NFL seasons with the St. Louis Rams, has a career passer rating of 97.2, the best in NFL history among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 1,500 passes. Steve Young is second at 96.8.

The acquisition of Warner is the latest and potentially one of the most significant steps in the Giants' offseason roster restructuring. He is the 21st veteran they have added through free agency or a waiver claim since Tom Coughlin became head coach. Warner will team with Eli Manning - the first pick in this year's draft, who was acquired by the Giants in a trade with San Diego - to give the Giants a prolific, high-profile tandem at the game's most significant position.

"When you have an opportunity to stockpile talent at the most important position in football, you do it," Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said. "I only have to look back on my own history with the quarterback position to see how important it is to have quality depth there. We have the best of both worlds right now, a blend of championship experience and youthful promise."

Warner, who was released by the Rams yesterday, became one of the greatest success stories in NFL history in St. Louis, rising from NFL Europe and the Arena Football League to become a Super Bowl champion and MVP and one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. He was the league's MVP in 1999 and 2001 and a three-time Pro Bowler. Warner's 66.41 career completion percentage is the highest in NFL history and his average of 8.56 yards per pass attempt is second behind Otto Graham (8.63).

Warner has led the NFL in completion percentage and average gain per attempt three times apiece, has had the highest quarterback rating and led the league in touchdown passes twice, and has finished first in passing yardage once.

His career totals are 1,121 completions in 1,688 attempts for 14,082 yards, 102 touchdowns and 65 interceptions.

"The presence of Kurt's veteran leadership is going to be a great benefit to this team, especially our young quarterbacks," Coughlin said. "As a young quarterback, you can learn an awful lot by watching how a guy like Kurt practices and prepares. It is a great learning tool. Kurt is a guy who is a two-time league MVP and has taken his team to two Super Bowls and won one. For somebody with those credentials to express the kind of desire he has to be here is only going to be a huge benefit to this team and this organization."

To make room on the roster the Giants released QB Kurt Kittner.

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