49ers Roll Out Red Carpet for Warner

Team flys Warner in a private jet

Kurt Warner is being courted by an eager division rival of the Arizona Cardinals.
The San Francisco 49ers sent a private jet Monday for the two-time MVP quarterback, who traveled from Phoenix to the team's training complex for a physical exam and a meeting with top brass.

Warner led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl last season, but became a free agent when he didn't re-sign with the club. Arizona has offered a two-year, $20 million contract to Warner, who will be 38 years old when training camp opens.

But Warner is seeking a deal worth at least $14 million per season, and the former St. Louis Rams star seems willing to leave Arizona for the right offer.

NFC West rival San Francisco, which finished two games behind the Cardinals in second place last season, has enough salary cap room to accommodate his salary wishes. With no established starting quarterback on the 49ers' roster, the club has rolled out its red-and-gold carpet to entice Warner.

After flying into Silicon Valley, Warner arrived at the 49ers' training complex by limousine shortly before lunchtime with his wife, Brenda. He was scheduled for a typical free-agent examination and a lunch meeting with general manager Scot McCloughan, coach Mike Singletary and likely owner Jed York before flying home Monday night.

Singletary has been unwilling to designate veteran Shaun Hill as his starter for next season even after Hill led San Francisco to five wins in its final seven games and a 7-9 record that knocked the interim tag off Singletary's title.

Alex Smith, the injury-plagued former No. 1 draft pick, is working on restructuring his contract to stay with the 49ers, who will release him if they can't reach a deal with a much lower base salary than the $9 million in his current contract.

The 49ers might not be the ideal fit for Warner, who would leave a lineup with star receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to join a run-based offense with no proven pass-catchers -- although Warner's arrival might persuade longtime Rams teammate Isaac Bruce to put off retirement for another season.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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