Warner appears set in St. Louis

The Associated Press

The St. Louis Rams plan to pay Kurt Warner the $6 million roster bonus he's due by Friday after attempts to restructure the quarterback's contract fell through.

``It's all finished,'' coach Mike Martz said Wednesday. ``I'm just happy as heck that we've got him.''

The payment all but assures that Warner, coming off a dismal, injury-plagued season, will neither be traded nor released this season because of the salary cap hit the team would incur. Before last year ended Martz said Warner and Marc Bulger would compete for the starting job this year, but he's since said that Warner is No. 1.

Bulger was voted the team MVP after leading the team to all seven victories in eight starts. Warner, plagued by injuries to his throwing hand and pinky finger, had only three touchdown passes and 11 interceptions and was 0-6 as a starter, but has led the Rams to two Super Bowls and is a two-time NFL MVP.

Warner is due $5.3 million in salary for next season. Team spokesman Rick Smith said the Rams are attempting to convert some of the salary into signing bonus to create cap space, and that Warner is willing to do that.

Still unresolved is a $3.5 million roster bonus due cornerback Aeneas Williams on Friday. Williams missed the second half of last season with ankle and leg injuries, and hasn't told the team whether he plans on returning.

If the Rams don't know by the deadline Friday, they'll release him and then attempt to re-sign him.

``I feel confident we'll get that resolved,'' Martz said. ``Sometimes those things take a little time.''

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