Kurt Warner’s Giants Career Came to an Abrupt End When a Now-Legendary Rookie QB Took Over
After having a successful six-year run with the St. Louis Rams, Kurt Warner was released by the organization in 2004. He quickly found a new home with the New York Giants.
However, Warner’s warm welcome to the Giants did not last long. The first pick of the 2004 NFL Draft quickly pushed him out of his starting position. Let’s look at Warner’s career and his brief time with the New York Giants.
Kurt Warner’s Giants career began in 2004
Most NFL fans are well aware of Warner’s Cinderella season in 1999. But some may have forgotten the details of his lone season with the New York Giants. After graduating from Northern Iowa in 1994, Warner went undrafted. The athlete played football for the Iowa Barnstormers, a pro indoor football team. He also paid his bills by stocking shelves at Hy-Vee during this time.
After four years of grinding, Warner finally got his NFL start with the St. Louis Rams in 1998. After serving as a backup quarterback in the 1998 season, Warner got his big break in 1999 after the starter went down with an injury during the preseason.
Warner was named the NFL MVP during the regular season and helped lead his team to a Super Bowl championship. He also took home Super Bowl MVP honors. After six seasons with the Rams, the team released Warner in 2004 after he broke a finger on his throwing hand.
However, just two days after being released from the Rams, Warner was able to sign a one-year contract worth $3 million with the New York Giants. Unfortunately for Warner, after winning five of his first seven games with the Giants, the team handed the starting quarterback job to rookie quarterback Eli Manning.
Eli Manning’s rise to NFL stardom
If you’re going to be pushed out of a job, you may as well be pushed out by a future Hall of Famer. After playing four years at Ole Miss, Manning was chosen as the first pick in the 2004 NFL Draft. The younger brother of Peyton Manning played the entirety of his NFL career with the Giants from 2004-19.
Having 210 consecutive starts for the Giants from 2004-17, Eli holds the franchise records in passing yards, touchdown passes, and completions. During his career, he led the Giants to two Super Bowl Championships in 2008 and 2012. Eli also earned Super Bowl MVP honors during both of his Super Bowl victories.
Kurt Warner’s stats from his time with the Giants
Warner played a total of 10 games for the Giants during the 2004 season. In these games, he completed 174 passes out of 277 attempts, which left him with a 62.8% completion rate.
While Manning got the start, it’s not because Warner was playing bad football. The organization was simply looking toward the future, and the future needed to be built on the back of the young Eli Manning.
After being pushed out of the Giants organization in favor of younger talent, Warner moved to Phoenix. He signed a $4 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals in 2005. Warner spent the remainder of his NFL career with the Cardinals, retiring from football at the conclusion of the 2009 season. Warner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.