Warner looking forward to life outside football

Published on February 9, 2009 by     Seahawk Fanatic

Pro Bowl Football

HONOLULU (AP) -When No. 13 waved to cheering fans and disappeared into the dark tunnel at Aloha Stadium, then retreated quietly to his locker, it may have been the final time for Kurt Warner in an NFL uniform.

After leading the Arizona Cardinals to an improbable run to the Super Bowl and playing in Sunday’s Pro Bowl, Warner will now have time to rest and contemplate retirement.

“I’m glad we had the season that we did, and I enjoyed every minute of it, but I’m very much looking forward to the offseason,” he said.

Warner played just five snaps for the NFC in the opening series and threw just two passes, completing an 8-yarder to teammate Larry Fitzgerald, who scored twice and led the NFC to a 30-21 victory to earn MVP honors.

Warner, who turns 38 in June, didn’t get much work in the game, but did labor extremely hard this week. At every practice and every interview, Warner was repeatedly asked whether he would continue playing.

The Cardinals have already lost offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who last week was hired as coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Warner said Haley’s departure would be just one of many factors in his decision. But he made clear that he doesn’t want to start over.

There’s one person that could be the deciding factor.

“If Anquan (Boldin) tells me he’s coming back, that will make my decision easier,” he said.

And Boldin absolutely wants to see Warner in a Cards uniform next year.

“You definitely want to see a guy like him come back because I feel like he’s got a lot left in the tank,” Boldin said. “He’s a guy that’s playing at the top of his career. He’s playing lights out, so you definitely want a guy like that to return.”

Warner said he has no time frame for a decision. All he’s focused on now is his family and life outside the NFL.

And when he’s ready, Warner said he’ll let the football world know.

NEW UNIFORMS: The players were outfitted with Pro Bowl jerseys made from a new material Reebok is testing and believes can improve athletic performance.

The “stretch mesh” jerseys are nearly 20 percent lighter than the standard NFL jersey and aim to allow for more range of motion, better ventilation and temperature control.

If all goes well, a number of teams will use the material next season.

The jerseys are also supposed to provide better fit and comfort, but don’t tell that to New York Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins.

The 6-foot-4, 349-pound Jenkins first put on his AFC jersey for photo day and practice Friday, and it appeared two XL sizes too small, looking more like a crop top.

“I’ve been holding my breath since the pictures,” Jenkins said.

HALL OF FAME: Pro Football Hall of Fame selections Bruce Smith, Rod Woodson and Randall McDaniel were honored before kickoff.

Longtime Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who at age 90 will be the oldest person ever inducted, did not make the trip. The four were selected along with the late Derrick Thomas and Bob Hayes.

They will be inducted Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio.

EXTRA POINTS: Pro Bowl winners earned $45,000, while losers earned half that. … Security at Aloha Stadium was extremely tight, with every man, woman and child being patted down before entering. There was a heavy presence by the Honolulu police in and around the stadium, including several SWAT team members. … New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, the NFL Offensive Player of the Year, received 951,246 votes to lead the all-stars in fan balloting for the game. The teams are based on votes of fans, players and coaches. New York Jets quarterback Brett Favre, who missed the game because of injury and was replaced by Tennessee Titans QB Kerry Collins, was second overall with 880,833 votes. … Last year’s “American Idol” runner-up David Archuleta sang the national anthem. Grammy-award winner Enrique Iglesias and Ciara performed at halftime.

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