Quarterback Matt Leinart, who starred at Mater Dei High School of Santa Ana and USC before the Arizona Cardinals drafted the former Costa Mesa resident with the 10th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft, could soon be looking for work . . .
. . . possibly in another league.
Disgruntled that he won't start in the Cards' season opener against the St. Louis Rams, Leinart is apparently being shopped to other teams.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reported earlier this week that the New York Giants, Oakland Raiders and Buffalo Bills are interested in acquiring Leinart, who is due $10 million over the next two seasons under his Arizona contract.
All three teams responded by saying they don't want the lanky lefty.
The headline: “Schefter Makes Untrue Statements Regarding
“The Raiders have never discussed trading
for Leinart,” states the release. “The Raiders are very happy about their quarterback
Currently, that means Jason Campbell and his sore wrist will start, Bruce
Gradkowski will be the backup and either Carrie Prejean's hubby Kyle Boller or another former Mater Dei QB, Colt Brennan, will get the third slot.
Remember that Oakland could have taken Leinart, who throws with the same paw and possess the same posture as Raiders legend Kenny Stabler, at No. 7 pick in '06. They made an excellent choice (rare for Al Davis' franchise) in safety Michael Huff instead.
The New York Post reports "Leinart Not on Giants Radar,” and the Associated Press discloses the same feelings are shuffling through Buffalo.
No takers would apparently leaves the Cardinals with two options: cut Leinart when rosters are trimmed from 75 players to 53 this Saturday, or keep him as a highly paid and hugely unhappy back-up to Derek Anderson, the former Cleveland QB who was originally picked up to back up the Trojan Heisman Trophy winner.
First, Leinart's USC glory gets wiped out by the NCAA sanctions against his alma mater, and now–for the second time, a backup has beaten him out for the starting job in Arizona. First, Kurt Warner, who led the Cards to the Super Bowl, and now Anderson.
Apparently, for all the money the front office threw at Leinart, he has never impressed coach Ken Whisenhunt, who has essentially said for all the quarterback's talents he still lacks the "intangibles” that make him a trusted leader.
Leinart does apparently have one other option. Former Giants coach Jim Fassel is looking for a quarterback for his Las Vegas Locomotives of the upstart UFL. That franchise would not be able to pony up $10 million over two seasons, but at least it would fulfill Leinart's stated desire to remain a starter.
The reputed hearty partier does fit Sin City like a showgirl's headdress.
Stay tuned, sports fans.