QB Kurt Warner – St. Louis Rams, 1998-2003
Kurt Warner is one of the greatest NFL UDFAs of all time. He is certainly one of the greatest players in franchise history. Warner is also the first Rams quarterback to lead and win its first and only Super Bowl in 2000. His journey took many twists and turns though.
Warner played QB at the University of Northern Iowa. He rode the bench for three seasons and then started in the 1993 season. He took UNI to the NCAA Division 1-AA playoffs, but fell short in the first round. He was named Gateway Conference Offensive Player of the Year. After college, Warner tried out for the Green Bay Packers, but failed to make the team after failing to be drafted. He then competed at the Arena Football League to play for the Iowa Barnstormers from 1995-1997. Warner took the Barnstormers to two AFL Championship games but lost both. His numbers were phenomenal. He threw for 4,149 yards, 79 touchdowns and 14 interceptions and maintained a 64.7 passing percentage in his final season.
After impressive numbers in the Arena league, the Rams showed an interest and worked a deal to sign him. In order to get him NFL experience, they sent him to NFL Europe’s Amsterdam Admirals for the 1998 season. Warner threw 15 TDs over 2,100 yards that season. The Rams made Warner their backup that year.
After a preseason injury to Trent Green in 1999, Warner became the starter. He led the Rams to a 13-3 regular season record and a 23-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans to win Super Bowl XXXVI. That season, Warner led the league with 325 completions on 499 attempts with 4,353 yards and 41 TDs.
Warner will always be known as the captain of “The Greatest Show on Turf.” Warner did have a short stint with the New York Giants in 2004. The Giants rookie QB Eli Manning eventually took over. In 2005, Warner signed with the Arizona Cardinals where he finished the remainder of his career until 2009. He took the Cards to Super Bowl XLIII but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.