Kurt Warner Among NFL Hall of Fame Finalists
For a while, no one could be sure if Kurt Warner was worthy of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At least for the moment, it sounds like he just might be.
According to multiple reports, Warner is among this year’s 15 finalists that have a chance at being voted into the Hall of Fame. Warner is joined by several big names, including Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Jimmy Johnson and others.
There are several players that could easily be voted in ahead of Warner, but he’s in a heated competition with just five slots available. If Warner would end up making the cut, he’d be the first quarterback voted in since 2006, when both Troy Aikman and Warren Moon got selected.
Jerome Bettis barely missed the cut last year, while former Oakland Raiders star receiver Tim Brown has been waiting for forever. With those two very likely to finally get in, Warner could be battling former teammates (Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce), Marvin Harrison and others for just three slots.
Warner is a hot debate when it comes to Hall of Fame talk, as he appeared in three Super Bowls (winning one) and had some of the best statistical seasons in history – namely his 41-touchdown run in 1999, his first season as a starter.
Warner was extremely accurate and prolific and played a huge hand in reviving two dead franchises in the St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals. Not only was Warner able to turn suspect offenses into some of the league’s most exciting, but he lifted his teams into the playoffs and helped both the Rams and Cardinals reach the Super Bowl for the first time ever. Warner fell short twice in the big game by less than a touchdown (once with the Rams and once with the Cardinals).
For all of his accomplishments, there is still an argument against Warner, which leans heavily on the fact that he faded miserably during his final two seasons in St. Louis and looked like a pedestrian talent in 2004 in his lone season with the New York Giants. Warner also didn’t look amazing in his first two seasons with the Cardinals, giving him an odd gap between two successful runs.
Despite being in the league for 11 seasons, some view Warner’s career as “incomplete” since he played in more than 10 games just six times. He struggled with injuries and suffered through five straight “lost” seasons.
While an argument can be made against Warner, it’s probably not as strong as the one supporting his induction. Warner was still an undrafted free agent that went from bagging groceries to winning a Super Bowl. Getting to three Super Bowls and playing 11 seasons in the NFL while piling on six seasons of 20+ touchdown passes might just barely be enough to get him in.
The bigger question isn’t if Warner deserves to get in, however. It’s if he deserves to get in this year. With so many other talented big names waiting their turn, it’s possible Warner has to wait a little longer before getting in, but it sounds like his day will come at some point.
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