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Warner will be Manning's tutor

By wire services
Published June 4, 2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - The Giants are taking some of the pressure off Eli Manning, signing Kurt Warner to be their caretaker quarterback until the top draft pick is ready.

While the two-time MVP got a two-year contract that will pay him a minimum of $3.5-million this year, there is no guarantee Warner will be in New York for more than a season.

When Manning is ready, he will be the Giants' quarterback.

Until then, the job seemingly belongs to Warner, the 32-year-old who led the Rams to Super Bowl appearances after the 1999 and 2001 seasons. Injuries and the emergence of Marc Bulger earned him a pink slip Tuesday.

"I am looking to come in and to play and to re-establish myself," Warner said. "I would love this to be where I finish my career."

Warner has incentives that can push his salary to $8-million this season. However, the second year of his contract is voidable, and his tenure might be determined by Manning's progress.

BRONCOS: Tight end Shannon Sharpe formally announced his retirement. He is leaving to become a member CBS' The NFL Today.

COWBOYS: Quarterback Vinny Testaverde signed a one-year, $1-million contract. The Jets released him this week, ending a six-year run for his hometown team. His first two seasons in New York were with Dallas coach Bill Parcells. In the past two, he was Chad Pennington's backup. Testaverde's agent, Mike Azzarelli, said the quarterback could make as much as $5-million this season, based on playing time and performance.

DOLPHINS: Linebacker Junior Seau apologized for using a derogatory term for gays while describing his relationship with teammates. Seau was accepting the leadership award at the team's annual banquet Wednesday night when he made the remark. "A joke that came out, due to my stupidity, is something we have to deal with today," Seau said. "With that, I am very sad and I apologize." PANTHERS: John Fox signed a three-year extension after leading the team to the Super Bowl in his second season. Fox's agent, Bob Lamonte, said the final two years of the original four-year, $4-million contract essentially were torn up and replaced by a new five-year deal that runs through the 2008 season. Financial terms were not released.

SAINTS: Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is researching revenue sources to try to make the state's full payment to the team by the July 5 deadline, and owner Tom Benson expects her to succeed. For now, the state is short $7-million of the $15-million annual payment to the Saints - part of the $186-million incentive package negotiated by the administration of former Gov. Mike Foster.

ARENA LEAGUE: Storm wide receiver/defensive back T.T. Toliver was named to the All-Ironman team.

- Times staff writer Frank Pastor contributed to this report.

[Last modified June 3, 2004, 23:58:18]


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