Arizona Cardinals' Matt Leinart on the Trading Block: A Look at All 31 NFL Teams
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Look at all of the potential options.
However, Matt Leinart is a former Heisman Trophy winner, BCS title game winner, and first-round pick. He was supposed to be the future of the Arizona Cardinals, and a star by this point in his career.
Instead, Leinart watched Kurt Warner tear up the league for the past three seasons, and at 27, could be staring at a career as a backup.
What his future holds is one thing, but even the most casual observers have to realize that he still holds some value.
Here's a look at all 31 teams in the NFL (obviously excluding Arizona), and why or why not they could, should, or will not take a long look at Leinart via trade or free agency:
They have Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, and Tyler Thigpen. They might be stacked with mid-level talent (possibly excluding Henne), but consider them stacked nonetheless. They have no use for Leinart.
Verdict: No chance.
Mark Brunell is their top backup and Kellen Clemens appears likely to make the team. You'd have to think they'd at least look at the kid as a solid backup to Mark Sanchez, considering their current options are a 38-year-old scrambling quarterback who can no longer scramble, and another guy who can't complete passes.
Verdict: Maybe, if Leinart is okay with being a backup.
Verdict: Brady will get a long-term deal eventually, and the Patriots would prefer to upgrade from within (or via the draft). It's not impossible, but unlikely.
Chan Gailey prefers athletic quarterbacks, but many would have to consider Leinart an upgrade over most of the quarterbacks in Buffalo, and while he's been underwhelming, he might be a better option than Trent Edwards.
Verdict: They'd have to be players if Leinart is released.
Big Ben is still their guy, and they have enough depth at quarterback to get by. Besides, they'd just be adding another possible distraction, and they won't allow that.
Verdict: Not happening.
With the recent preseason episode of Eric Mangini barking at Colt McCoy, perhaps he's not the future in Cleveland. I don't think he gets released, but if Leinart is there for the taking, perhaps the Browns could view him as their future.
Carson Palmer is looking better already than last season, and the Bengals haven't expressed any concern with the position.
Verdict: Palmer is still the franchise guy, so this would be an unnecessary move.
Joe Flacco is the man, and Baltimore has Marc Bulger and Troy Smith to work with behind him.
Verdict: They don't need him.
Verdict: He'd be a solid backup, so they could be players.
10. Tennessee Titans
Vince Young may not be the answer, and after him it's just a 37-year-old Kerry Collins and Chris Simms.
Verdict: They reportedly liked him before they went with VY, and if VY doesn't pan out, he'd be a decent alternative.
11. Houston Texans
Matt Schaub has the job locked down for years to come, and Dan Orlovsky is a capable backup.
Verdict: No way.
David Garrard is inconsistent and backup Luke McCown is erratic. In other words, this coaching staff would probably see a lot they know and are familiar with in Leinart.
Verdict: They wouldn't be straying from the norm, and they don't really have a long-term answer at QB.
Phillip Rivers is their top dog, and Billy Volek is one of the more reliable backups in the league.
Verdict: Not a chance.
They have a lot of money invested in Cassel, but what happens if he bombs again in 2010? Todd Haley might still see something he likes in Leinart.
Verdict: With no clear backup plan behind Cassel, Leinart could be brought in for depth and future competition.
15. Oakland Raiders
Oakland doesn't have an elite quarterback, but they've pulled the trigger on a trade already. If Jason Campbell doesn't work, they still feel good about Bruce Gradkowski.
Verdict: They'd consider it, because they're the Raiders, but ultimately it's a no.
16. Denver Broncos
Verdict: No room for another project.
17. New York Giants
Eli Manning is a gamer, but with Jim Sorgi now on IR, what happens if he goes down?
Verdict: It's a possibility if Leinart can suck it up and remain a backup.
Kevin Kolb is the future, Michael Vick is the solid backup, and Mike Kafka is the solid third-string guy no one is talking about.
Verdict: Philly has all the confidence in the world in its quarterbacks, so no.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Tony Romo stays healthy and gets it done, and he's too young to seriously look toward the future just yet. Jon Kitna won't blow you away, but his presence makes adding Leinart silly.
Verdict: Dallas would probably rather continue to develop Stephen McGee than take a chance on Leinart.
Mike Shanahan knows quarterbacks, and he also knows that Donovan McNabb is only signed for one year. He'll consider it.
Verdict: Shanny would prefer to pick his own guy, but he'll try Leinart out if he can get him for cheap.
21. Detroit Lions
Verdict: They'll take a look for depth and to add a veteran backup.
Verdict: Ted Thompson doesn't do free agency.
23. Chicago Bears
Verdict: It'd make sense, but it isn't likely to happen.
Is Tarvaris Jackson really the future in Minnesota? Sending Sage Rosenfels or T-Jax to Arizona for Leinart as a potential Favre successor doesn't seem too far-fetched.
Verdict: Favre insurance makes sense.
25. Atlanta Falcons
Verdict: They're more worried about receivers at the moment.
Patrick Ramsey is their top backup and they worked out Greg Paulus this summer. In other words, anything can happen.
Verdict: Leinart would suddenly look pretty darn good if he was in that Saints offense. Sean Payton is too smart to dismiss it without taking a good, hard look.
Matt Moore is still fairly unproven, but Jimmy Clausen is the future, not Matt Leinart.
Verdict: No need to make a move here.
Josh Freeman starts the season with an injury, so Tampa Bay should think again about their backup plan. Are they really just rolling with Josh Johnson back there, again?
Verdict: Leinart holding a clipboard could make Raheem Morris a little more comfortable. It's possible.
Alex Smith may or may not be the future. But if he isn't, that's the reason they brought on David Carr. The 49ers are trying to win games, not have three former first-round busts in quarterback meetings.
Verdict: It's an unnecessary move, so Mike Singletary won't waste his time with it.
30. St. Louis Rams
They might be worried about their depth there, but they won't bring on a guy with an attitude issue, as it could mess with Sam Bradford's development.
Verdict: The Rams don't need Bradford learning from Leinart.
31. Seattle Seahawks
Probably the destination everyone (including Leinart) is dreaming about, a reunion between Leinart and former USC head coach Pete Carroll. This is probably one of the more likely landing spots.
Verdict: The consensus early pick, as Seattle still isn't sold on Charlie Whitehurst.
Leinart isn't likely to start or have fantasy value in 2010, but we still find the situation interesting. We find it especially interesting that this has even become a situation, as we can't fathom how anyone could be 100 percent certain that Derek Anderson is the guy they want to tie to the success of their football team.
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