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Following the Arizona Cardinals‘ improbable run to the Super Bowl, Kurt Warner became a free agent but announced his desire to stay with the team. However, contract negotiations stalled — he was looking for a lot more money than Arizona was willing to pay — which led to discussions with the San Francisco 49ers.

Warner and the Cardinals eventually reached an agreement on a two-year deal, and despite undergoing surgery for a torn labrum in the offseason, the four-time Pro Bowler was ready to roll when Arizona began the 2009 campaign.

He had an up-and-down start to his season, throwing four interceptions as the Cardinals dropped two of their first three games. In a Week 2 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, though, Warner completed 24 of 26 passes for 243 yards with two touchdowns and no picks.

Following a Week 3 loss to the Indianapolis Colts, the Cardinals won three in a row before dropping a Week 8 matchup to the Carolina Panthers, a game in which Warner equaled a career worst by throwing five interceptions. But he bounced back the following week and equaled a career best by tossing five touchdowns in a 41-21 win over the Chicago Bears.

During a Week 11 victory over his former team, the St. Louis Rams, the two-time NFL MVP was forced out of the game after suffering a concussion and missed the Cardinals’ Week 12 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

Warner returned to the Arizona lineup in Week 13 and led his team to a 30-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, completing 22 of 32 passes for 285 yards with three touchdowns to improve the Cardinals’ record to 8-4.

Arizona had a chance to clinch the NFC West the following week but fell to the San Francisco 49ers as Warner failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time all season while tossing two interceptions. Nevertheless, the Cardinals won two of their final three games and finished with a 10-6 mark to take their second consecutive division crown, earning the No. 4 seed in the NFC.

Kurt Warner during a Cardinals-Lions matchup in December 2009
Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals passes during the game against the Detroit Lions on December 20, 2009 | Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Related Kurt Warner Is a Member of the Elite Club of NFL Quarterbacks to Start Super Bowls For Multiple Teams

Kurt Warner Is a Member of the Elite Club of NFL Quarterbacks to Start Super Bowls For Multiple Teams

Arizona opened the postseason at home in a wild shootout with the fifth-seeded Green Bay Packers. In one of the greatest games of his career, Warner completed 29 of 33 passes for 379 yards with five touchdowns and zero interceptions in a 51-45 victory, earning a 154.1 passer rating. He became the first quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to throw five TDs in a postseason game on multiple occasions.

Things didn’t go nearly as smoothly in the Divisional Round against the New Orleans Saints.

After throwing a first-half interception, Warner took a massive hit from Saints defensive end Bobby McCray, knocking him out of the game. He returned in the second half but was ultimately ineffective and was taken out in the fourth quarter of the 45-14 blowout loss.

In 2012, the NFL discovered that the Saints had put out a bounty on Warner, an investigation that led to several fines and suspensions. Warner later said that while the block from McCray was a “violent hit,” it was also a legal one.

Warner also said the hit had nothing to do with his retirement, which he announced two weeks after Arizona’s loss to New Orleans, citing his desire to spend more time with his wife and children. He contemplated a comeback to the Cardinals in 2014, but it never came to fruition.

Read more about Kurt Warner’s NFL career:

Kurt Warner 2009 Stats

Passing Stats


Rushing Stats


Kurt Warner 2009 Game Log

Passing Stats

9/13/091SFL 20-1626442881267.2
9/20/092@JAXW 31-17242624320131.2
9/27/093INDL 31-1030523321267.1
10/11/095HOUW 28-21263830220109.8
10/18/096@SEAW 27-3324127621100.8
10/25/097@NYGW 24-1720362311172.8
11/1/098CARL 34-2127462422547.8
11/8/099@CHIW 41-21223226150132.9
11/15/0910SEAW 31-20293834020120.5
11/22/0911@STLW 21-13151920320146.3
11/29/0912@TENL 20-17N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
12/6/0913MINW 30-17223228530127.7
12/14/0914@SFL 24-916291780244.9
12/20/0915@DETW 31-2422362281177.1
12/27/0916STLW 31-10243831320106.6
1/3/1017GBL 33-746310079.2
1/10/10WCGBW 51-45293337950154.1
1/16/10Div@NOL 45-1417262050173.4

Rushing Stats

9/13/091SFL 20-162-401
9/20/092@JAXW 31-171-100
9/27/093INDL 31-100001
10/11/095HOUW 28-212000
10/18/096@SEAW 27-30001
10/25/097@NYGW 24-173-300
11/1/098CARL 34-211801
11/8/099@CHIW 41-211301
11/15/0910SEAW 31-204000
11/22/0911@STLW 21-131001
11/29/0912@TENL 20-17N/AN/AN/AN/A
12/6/0913MINW 30-173-100
12/14/0914@SFL 24-90002
12/20/0915@DETW 31-242-201
12/27/0916STLW 31-1011002
1/3/1017GBL 33-70000
1/10/10WCGBW 51-450001
1/16/10Div@NOL 45-141001

All stats, unless otherwise indicated, courtesy of Pro Football Reference