Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner isn’t the first retired athlete to broach the idea of playing again. He’s just the latest.
Warner, 46, was interviewed Monday during the broadcast of a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. It was Kurt Warner Day at Busch Stadium, and Warner garnered even more attention by saying he contemplated trying to play again in 2018.
“I actually talked to a coach,” he said. “My wife said, ‘Go for it. I think it would be great.’ So I actually talked to a coach about possibly doing it if they needed someone. Then they went out and signed somebody. I don’t think they thought I was serious. So, I think we’re completely done now.”
Warner hasn’t played since the 2009 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Since 1990, 13 quarterbacks age 40 and older have attempted a pass in the NFL, according to profootballreference.com. The oldest, George Blanda, threw three passes in the NFL at age 48.
Next-oldest was Vinnie Testaverde, who, at 44, started six games for the Panthers in 2007.
One of those starts came against the Cardinals. The Panthers won, making Testaverde the oldest starting quarterback to win a game.
That game was significant for Warner and the Cardinals, too. Warner was making his first start of the season because Matt Leinart suffered a broken collarbone the week before. Against Carolina, Warner suffered a torn ligament in his left elbow and was replaced by Tim Rattay, whom the Cardinals signed after Testaverde rejected them.
Warner, however, returned to the lineup the following week in Washington and missed only one start before retiring.