Warner to 49ers? It could happen, source says

UPDATED (7:30 p.m.)

The 49ers have a “legitimate shot” to land veteran free-agent quarterback Kurt Warner, who led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl this season, a league source said. A second source with knowledge of the situation said there have been no serious contract discussions.

No visit has been scheduled that would bring together 49ers representatives and Warner. One source said the 49ers might get together with Warner in the next day or two. If the discussions heat up, the 49ers could send a group of three, including Mike Singletary and general Scot McCloughan, to Arizona to visit with Warner, the source said.


The 49ers’ interest in Warner was first reported by ESPN this evening.


Warner’s camp believes the Cardinals have taken a passive approach with the Pro Bowl quarterback, the source said. The Cardinals have believed that Warner would either play for the Cardinals in 2009 or retire. But Warner, 37, has opened the door to negotiate with other teams.


Warner ranked as the league’s third-leading passer in 2008. He threw 30 touchdown passes and 14 interceptions, compiling a rating of 96.9.


The 49ers have plenty of cap room to pull off a blockbuster deal, such as signing Warner. They began the free-agent signing period with more than $25 million in cap room. They could easily create around $10 million in addition cap space when they address the contract situations of Alex Smith and Jonas Jennings.


The ESPN report states Warner is looking for a contract in the neighborhood of the $14.7 million range — the franchise number for quarterbacks.


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