According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cardinals have scheduled a news conference for Friday, when Warner is expected to announce his retirement.
Warner, 38, told ESPN’s Rick Reilly after the Cardinals’ loss to the New Orleans Saints in the divisional round of the playoffs that playing football is gradually becoming a chore.
“You feel the pressure,” Warner told Reilly. “You have a game that isn’t that great, and people are like ‘What’s wrong with Warner?’ That wears on you. You don’t have the joy and the fun and satisfaction of having one of those great games because everyone expects you to have one of those games. You never get to exhale.”
Warner had “one of those great games” in Arizona’s thrilling overtime victory over the Green Bay Packers on wild-card weekend. He completed a remarkable 29 of 33 passes, amassing 379 yards and five touchdowns without committing a turnover.
But in New Orleans, just 17 of his 26 throws found the arms of a Cardinals receiver, one was intercepted, and none resulted in six points. Warner was pressured relentlessly by the Saints’ fierce defense, taking crushing blows like the ones Bobby McCray and Darren Sharper continuously dealt to Favre on Sunday.
That wasn’t fun, and it has apparently made Warner wonder whether the chance of another Super Bowl ring is worth the bruises, concussions, mental angst and countless hours of work.
Warner, of course, already has one ring in three Super Bowl appearances. He has a 9-4 record in the playoffs, and is one of the best postseason quarterbacks in NFL history with a 102.8 quarterback rating and 31 touchdowns in 13 games.
With a career quarterback rating of 93.7 and 208 touchdown passes, including 41 in his first full year as a starter in 1999, Warner should be a surefire Hall of Famer — perhaps even a first-ballot entrant.
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