Before Kurt Warner was a Super Bowl champion and a Pro Football Hall of Famer, he had to scratch and claw his way just to make the NFL.
Warner has one of the most inspiring NFL journeys. He wasn’t drafted after coming out of Northern Iowa. He played three seasons in the Arena Football League for the Iowa Barnstormers and then tried his hand with the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe before joining the St. Louis Rams in 1998.
He was initially the backup to Trent Green at the start of the 1999 season, but Green suffered a season-ending ACL injury in a preseason game. Warner showcased his incredible talents in that first season on his way to an NFL MVP Award and a Super Bowl championship.
He told Fox News Digital in Las Vegas ahead of Super Bowl LVIII that developmental leagues, like the United Football League (UFL), are important for football players.
“I think it’s huge,” Warner said. “Some guys don’t get the recognition or they don’t have the perfect college environments to really showcase what they’re capable of doing. If it just comes down to NFL or nothing, I would’ve never had my shot to prove to people that I could play.”
The United Football League was born out of the merger between the United States Football League and the XFL. The new season begins on March 30.
Warner said his son, Kade, will be playing in the UFL for the San Antonio Brahmas.
“I’ve got a son that was cut by an NFL team, and now he’s going to go play in the UFL, and it’s going to give him an opportunity to showcase what he’s doing,” Warner said. “I think it’s great from a developmental standpoint. I played in NFL Europe, too. It was great for helping me develop.”
“We had a number of quarterbacks in that league that went on to play in the Super Bowl. But just giving these people an opportunity to play and showcase and live that dream, because it doesn’t always work out no matter what field you’re in. It doesn’t always work out the first time. Sometimes you need that second opportunity, and these leagues give guys a second opportunity.”