Rueters Photo: Kurt WarnerAlthough negotiations can't officially begin until 4 PM this afternoon, numerous sources have revealed that former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner will be in a Giants uniform very soon, possibly as early as today. "He's got a real good feeling for the Giants," Warner's agent, Mark Bartelstein, said. "That's really all I can say right now."

Warner, a two time MVP in St. Louis, was released yesterday as the NFL's salary cap cutting season got into full swing. Warner was to earn a base salary of $9.5 million for the 2004 season and by cutting him now, the Rams will absorb salary-cap hits this year ($4.6 million) and next ($6.7 million) rather than take a single massive hit on this year's cap. The Giants have about $4 million in cap room to spend on June 1 cuts such as Warner. They're about $8.5 million under the salary cap, but need to keep $4.4 million for their rookie pool. Warner is expected to sign a cap-friendly deal that will net him about $3 million this season and make it possible for him to return in 2005.

Warner paid the Giants a visit in early May, after it became clear that St. Louis could not afford to keep both him and current starter Marc Bulger on the same roster. He was actually Big Blue's second choice, but they were unable to coax former Jet Neil O'Donnell out of retirement. Ideally Warner, 33, can come in and lock up the starting quarterback role and also help mentor Eli Manning, the 1st overall pick in the NFL draft this summer.

Questions about his thumb, which he has injured in the past two seasons, abound, but the Giants found no problems during his physical. Warner is winless in eight starts since Superbowl Super Bowl XXXVI, including a six-fumble performance in a season-opening loss to the Giants last September.

Another not so surprising cut yesterday was 40 year old Vinny Testaverde, who was cut from the Jets, ending his 6 year stint with the Gang Green. Newsday reported that the cutting Testaverde would save the Jets $1.25 million on this year's cap. His cap numbers will be $3.5 million this year and $4 million in 2005. Newsday also reports that Testaverde could end up with the Cowboys or the Patriots as a free agent.

NFL.com's Pat Kirwan reports that cutting players early is an increasing trend in the NFL. Kirwan writes that there are three factors determining whether a player is cut today or not - a need to move on; the need for cap room; or the team is in the process of negotiations on the player.