, Salem, MA


March 3, 2009

Bill Kipouras column: St. Pierre winds up back in Arizona

Brian St. Pierre had left two cars behind in Chandler, Ariz., after returning home to the North Shore after the Super Bowl.

The 29-year-old Danvers native wasn't sure about returning to the Arizona Cardinals, given his free agent status. Plus, Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley had just been hired as the new head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs. Haley often told St. Pierre this past season that if he landed an NFL coaching berth, that he'd like St. Pierre to come along.

But no longer does he have to worry about possible arrangements for those cars still in Arizona. The backup quarterback decided to return to the Cardinals.

Haley, as it turned out, hadn't forgotten St. Pierre. Chicago-based agent Rick Smith had several conversations with the Chiefs about St. Pierre, and had an appointment Friday to discuss a possible contract with Chiefs GM Scott Pioli.

The Cardinals, however, made a big pitch Thursday night to re-sign St. Pierre, who would have become a free agent Friday. Then the Chiefs announced they had traded for Patriots QB Matt Cassel.

"(Cardinals head coach) Ken Whisenhunt phoned me (last) Thursday. I was at the Bruins' game with my brother Andy, my brother-in-law Anthony and (old Prep teammate) Zach Magliaro. Ken had expressed a strong desire for me to return to Arizona, and we got it done between periods between text messages and phone calls," St. Pierre said. "It all went down."

The fact that he gets along well with Whisenhunt, has a history with him from when the two were together in Pittsburgh with the Steelers and the chance to move up the depth chart from the No. 3 QB were all factors that pleased St. Pierre.

"I got a raise and (Whisenhunt) said he'd let me compete with Matt Leinart for the No. 2 job," he said. "I trust the coach. I've enjoyed him, and my wife Joceyln (of Beverly) and I both love Arizona. It's he best decision we could have made."

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