Warner agrees to contract with . . . the Cardinals

Quarterback Kurt Warner has reached a contract agreement to remain with the Cardinals, it was learned just moments ago.

This ends a six-day saga in which the 49ers made a big push to acquire the two-time league MVP. Warner and his wife, Brenda, flew to the Bay Area to meet with 49ers officials on Monday.


Warner, who turns 38 in June, made it clear from the beginning that his preference was to get a contract done with the Cardinals. On Tuesday, his agent, Mark Bartelstein, said as much when he noted that Warner’s heart remains in Arizona.


So now the 49ers are back to where they began.


They are not expected to pursue another veteran free agent to add to the competition for the starting job, and there is a feeling that it’s a longshot they would take a quarterback at No. 10 in the draft.


They are still seeking a new contract with Alex Smith and expect him to compete for the starting QB job against Shaun Hill. The 49ers get together for the first time this offseason with new offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye for classroom work on Monday, March 16. Their pre-draft minicamp will take place at the end of that week.


Warner receives a two-year, $23 million contract with a $15 million signing bonus and base salaries of $4 million in both seasons, Bartelstein said.


That is a significant increase from the Cardinals’ original, long-standing offer of two years, $20 million with $10 million guaranteed.The 49ers are believed to have offered Warner significantly more in both total package and guarantees.


Obviously, the 49ers and Cardinals meet twice in 2009 (schedules are released in the spring), so at least I’ll have something to write about in the lead-up to those games.


Let’s call this a wrap for now.


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FREE-AGENCY UPDATE: Niners running back DeShaun Foster, whom the club has shown no interest in re-signing, is visiting the Bills today, reports the Buffalo News.

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