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Questions surround appeal of Warner

wire services
Published May 30, 2004

Kurt Warner's rise to Super Bowl hero with the St. Louis Rams in the 1999 season is written into NFL legend, but with the ink barely dry on the pages, Warner has suffered a fall nearly as precipitous as the rise.

He is now on the verge of being a salary-cap casualty, to be set adrift by the Rams on Tuesday. Two injury-muddled seasons have left him in this position, thrown into an unforgiving market of teams that have already signed top-level free agents and gone through the draft.

Several teams, including the New York Giants, are expected to offer Warner a contract, but none are laying out the red-carpet reception that might befit a two-time Most Valuable Player. The Giants want him as a stopgap starter and mentor for rookie Eli Manning. And that may be his best offer.

The big question is whether Warner has another rise left in him, whether he has taken too many hits, accumulated too much baggage to do it again.

"He's excited about finding a new home," Warner's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said. "If there is anyone who can handle this, it's him."

Bartelstein said Warner, who turns 33 next month, did not want to comment on his situation.

GALAXY 20, FIRE 14 (OT): The Chiefs' Kirk Farmer threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to the Saints' Derrick Lewis with 1:03 left in overtime to put Frankfurt over Rhein in the NFL Europe game in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The Galaxy had already cinched a berth in next month's World Bowl.

THUNDER 27, CLAYMORES 19: David Rivers threw two touchdown passes and ran for another touchdown to help Berlin rally in Glasgow, Scotland. Berlin had already clinched a berth in the World Bowl.

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