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Saturday, February 28, 2009
An interview with Kurt Warner's agent


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Agent Mark Bartelstein explained Kurt Warner's position during a recent interview with Dan Bickley and Mike Jurecki on XTRA-910 AM in Phoenix. Thanks to Jimmy Shapiro of sportsradiointerviews.com for passing along the audio link.

I'm going to have to go Nick Burns on Bickley the next time he needs someone to repair his wireless connection in a press box (Week 4, the Meadowlands, you're welcome). Seriously, though, Dan hung me out to dry a little bit during this interview with Bartelstein.

In referring to my recent column about Warner, Dan slightly undersold what two NFL salary-cap managers had told me they thought Warner's value would be outside Arizona. One of the cap managers put the value at $6 million to $7 million per year. Another placed the value between $8 million and $10 million.

The Cardinals have been offering something in that $10 million range. We now skip ahead to that radio interview with Bartelstein.

Bickley: One of the sticking points in this chronology of these negotiations would have been a report that came out of ESPN.com which would have been a survey of general managers or people of that ilk at the scouting combine and Mike Sando deduced that Kurt's market value would be somewhere between $7 million and $8 million a year. Was that even good information to begin with?

Bartelstein: No. I actually talked to Mike about that. He talked to two guys that he was passing in the hall and he threw it out to them and they were not focused on it. I can promise you that was not his market value in the league. That much I can tell you for sure.

Bickley: It seemed rather low.

Bartelstein: All you have to look at is what the top quarterbacks in the league are earning and look at the performance that Kurt has put forth the last couple of years.

I do think the market value for Warner would be in that $6 million to $10 million range. If the market were appreciably higher, we would see teams lining up to sign Warner, and that would put pressure on the Cardinals.

Of course, Bartelstein would have an easier time driving up the price if Warner wouldn't keep talking about how he wants to finish his career in Arizona or possibly retire.

Bickley hit on that subject. Here is what Bartelstein said when Bickley noted that Warner isn't playing the role of Rod Tidwell very convincingly:

Bartelstein: I hear what you are saying. I'll take the Kurt Warners every day of the week. He is not just a client, he is a dear friend. His values are in the right place. That being said, I don't want that to be used against him.

I don't think because a guy shows his hand and shows where his heart is at that that should be used against him. He should be valued for what he does by the organization that he plays for and what he does on the field, in the locker room, in the community.

Those are the elements that are so critical in determining what is his value to the Cardinals. And I think they know that. I hope they know it. That is what I'm trying to drive across and we're trying to make a deal.