By now, most Chicago Bears’ fans know the story on how they nearly brought Kurt Warner in for the 2005 season to back up Rex Grossman. Warner was coming off a rough two years with the Giants, and while he was intrigued at the notion of playing for Lovie Smith, he ultimately decided the fit wasn’t right.
He ended up signing in Arizona and leading them to a Super Bowl appearance in 2008.
He was a free agent the following season, and the Bears flirted with the idea of signing him then as well. They again wanted to bring the Hall of Fame quarterback — now 37-years old — in as a backup, but he decided to re-up with Arizona for one more year before finally retiring following the 2009 season.
Imagine how the Bears’ franchise would have went had they added Warner in ‘05? Grossman was hurt early that year and they had to turn to rookie Kyle Orton. He did help get them to a division championship, but they went back to Rex for their playoff game. My guess is Warner would have played much better than Orton, and they never would have went back to Grossman, and they could have had had more postseason success that year. They might have also stuck with Warner in 2006, their Super Bowl year, and his experience may have been the difference when coupled with that fantastic defense that got them a championship.
Their second time passing on Warner led them to make the blockbuster Jay Cutler trade. I wonder if adding Warner to back up Orton in ‘09 would have been enough to pass on Cutler?
All that backstory leads me to this next anecdote from Warner.
Check out what he had to say on the next episode of Undeniable with Joe Buck.
Warner started out with the Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1994, but he didn't make it to their final roster. After a few years in the arena league and NFL Europe, the Bears took notice.
The Bears wanted to try him out, but it was the day before he was set to get married.
They rescheduled for the following week, but it was on the week of his honeymoon.
They rescheduled again for after the honeymoon, but an insect bite while in Jamaica caused his throwing arm to swell up, so he had to reschedule again.
The Bears never called back.
Imagine what could have been had Warner worked out with the Bears in 1998. There’s no guarantee that he would have had the same type of NFL career as a Bear, but it could have happened.
You can catch the full interview on AT&T AUDIENCE Network, Tuesday (7/24) at 8pm ET/PT.