Giants sign Warner to mentor Manning

Posted: Friday, June 04, 2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) The New York Giants are taking some of the pressure off Eli Manning, signing Kurt Warner to be their caretaker quarterback until the top pick in the draft is ready.

While the two-time MVP got a two-year contract late Wednesday that will pay him a minimum of $3.5 million this year, there is no guarantee Warner will be with the Giants for more than a season. When Manning is ready to go, he will be the Giants' quarterback.

Until then, the job seemingly belongs to Warner, the soon-to-be 33-year-old who led the St. Louis Rams to Super Bowl appearances after the 1999 and 2001 seasons. Injuries and the emergence of Marc Bulger earned him a pink slip Tuesday.

''I am looking to come in and to play and to re-establish myself,'' Warner said Thursday, hours after his first practice. ''I would love this to be where I finish my career.''

Warner has incentives that can push his salary to $8 million this season. However, the second year of his contract is voidable, and his tenure may well be determined by Manning's progress in his rookie season.

Manning, who has known for weeks the Giants planned to sign a veteran, still plans on competing for the starting job.

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