All you quarterback dreamers out there can stop.
The third time won't be the charm for the Bears when it comes to Kurt Warner. You know, the two-time league MVP and former Super Bowl MVP and nearly Super Bowl XLIII MVP.
Yeah, that Warner. The one the Bears told "no thanks" to after he left the St. Louis Rams in 2003. Yes, this is the same Warner the Bears said "no thanks" to after he left the New York Giants in 2004. Warner stopped by Halas Hall in 2005 after getting out of Gotham. It was a fit that wasn't meant to be with the organization's undying devotion to Rex Grossman at the time.
If Warner plays in 2009, it's not going to be for the Bears, or anyone else other than the team he just led to Super Bowl XLIIII and brought within two minutes and 30 seconds or so of a Lombardi Trophy after a furious fourth-quarter rally. As much as his Chicago-based agents might want him to dip his foot into free-agent waters, if you take the man for his word on Tuesday, it won't happen.
Warner is reportedly looking for a two-year contract worth about $9 million annually. It's not like he would have picked the Bears any way had he gone into free agency. Going from having Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston as targets to Devin Hester, Somebody, and Somebody Else isn't the career path a potential future Hall of Famer charts for himself. General manager Jerry Angelo could have put a full-court press on Warner starting Feb. 27 when free agency opens and Warner would have been the one saying "no thanks" this time.
But the Bears have started their work at the position. They signed Arlington Heights native Brett Basanez. He replaces Grossman on the roster for now and will get to work on learning the system beginning Monday. There's still a possibility they make a run at Chris Simms or Byron Leftwich or David Carr or one of the other quarterbacks who won't be in position to challenge Kyle Orton for the starting job. There's still a possibility they could pull the trigger on a quarterback high in the draft. Angelo said he wouldn't rule anything out. The only thing you can rule out now is Warner.