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Kurt Warner discusses Sam Bradford/Nick Foles trade

3/25/2015

PHOENIX -- Perhaps no quarterback in NFL history can speak to the power of a fresh start than Kurt Warner.

After Warner's meteoric rise to NFL stardom in 1999 and the supernova that followed in the two years after, Warner found himself essentially starting over. First in New York where things didn't work out so well. But when he landed here in Arizona, Warner was healthy and able to get rolling again.

Warner, of course, went on to lead the Cardinals to a Super Bowl appearance and cement his place as one of the most efficient quarterbacks in league history.

All of which makes Warner something of an expert when it comes to quarterbacks benefiting from starting over. On Tuesday at these NFL owners meetings, Warner took some time to promote Super Bowl 50 and in the process also offered some thoughts on the quarterback trade involving the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.

There were other considerations involved but the heart of the deal was a swap of Sam Bradford to the Eagles in exchange for Nick Foles.

"It's an interesting one from both standpoints because you kind of thought St. Louis would stay behind Sam and you thought Philly would think maybe this could be our guy for the future because of some of the success," Warner said. "It just kind of makes you wonder what was the driving factor behind it."

From the Philadelphia standpoint, Warner said perhaps the Eagles considered Mark Sanchez a solid option if things don't work out with Bradford, but they're willing to roll the dice on Bradford's upside.

"Physically, he's got all the ability to be a top-notch quarterback," Warner said. "He's a young kid that has the right attitude, a guy that can lead your franchise. I think all of that stuff is in place. ... It's one of those where, yeah, we've got a backup plan but if this can be an upside for us and a guy we can build around, then let's make this move and see if we can make it work."

From the St. Louis standpoint, Warner pointed to landing a guy who has had success but also doesn't have the injury history Bradford has. He does, however, have some concerns.

"I like Nick," Warner said. "One of the things I've always worried about with Nick is just the speed by which he plays. I've always believed that you have to be able to see and react very quickly. I felt in Philly's system, he thrived because things transpired a little bit slower. A lot of the stuff was down the field where he could take his time to get through reads and he was very good in that system. But I also wondered 'How does that translate to another system?'

"But definitely when you can go 27 [touchdowns] and two [interceptions], I don't care who you are, that stuff doesn't just happen. You've got to be able to play. You've got to be able to eliminate mistakes and make big plays down the field. So that's the upside that you've seen with him. We just don't have a very big sample size on what he's going to be."

Either way, Warner sees the chance for both quarterbacks to start anew as a positive.

"A lot of times you get a new situation and you can step away from the pressure sometimes," Warner said. "Whether it's Foles living up to that great season he had a couple of years ago or with Sam everybody around there going, 'Oh, is he going to stay healthy and reach his potential?' I think sometimes you can get kind of a new slate. The people in Philly don't remember all of that stuff and he'll get a chance to get out there and get healthy and start anew and I think Nick, too. There's definitely some bonuses to that. ... Generally it's a new excitement that there's something new here, there's something that's a little bit of an unknown and we're excited to see how this plays out."