Matt Leinart a New York Giant? Why This Is (and Isn't) a Good Fit
Start spreading the news, Matt Leinart's leaving Arizona real soon.
Reports have surfaced that the Cardinals are actively trying to deal the Heisman winner, and the New York Giants are one of three teams that have expressed interest in Leinart.
The G-Men are in desperate need of a second-string quarterback; expected backup Jim Sorgi was placed on injured reserve on Monday, and current reserves Rhett Bomar and Dominic Randolph have never taken an NFL snap.
At first glance, this possible acquisition might look like a no-brainer for both parties.
However, several key questions loom, such as how long Leinart will be satisfied playing second fiddle to Eli Manning.
In the pages that follow are a few reasons why Leinart would be an ideal Giant...and a few reasons why he would be a disaster.
Former Teammate Mark Sanchez' Success
Al Bello/Getty Images
In his rookie season, former USC standout Mark Sanchez validated himself as an NFL quarterback by leading the Jets to the playoffs. In addition, he proved that the move from Southern California to the Big Apple can be on worth the airfare.
Leinart was the man Sanchez replaced at USC, and now, the teacher could become the student so to speak, seeking out Sanchez' advice on how to succeed in the city that never sleeps.
Help in the Backfield
Nick Laham/Getty Images
The Cardinals have a very pass-oriented offense.
The Giants, meanwhile, grind it out on the ground a bit more, as evidenced by the fact that they had two runners reach the 1,000-yard plateau in 2008.
If Leinart does see playing time, the Giants won't have to rely on his arm as much as the Cards, as he'll have Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw to keep the opposing defense from anticipating the pass all the time
David Carr's Success in Blue
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
David Carr was a first-round pick (No. 1 overall, to be exact) who didn't succeed as a starter, but served his served his purpose under Eli Manning
Carr, who was thought to be the franchise player for the expansion Houston Texans in 2002, only lasted five years with them and spent more time on the ground than in the end zone.
After a stop in Carolina, however, Carr came to New York for the 2008 and 2009 seasons and did fairly well, racking up a combined 340 yards in limited action.
Numbers aside, Carr's reliability as a backup quarterback for the Giants proved that a high-profile college player can fit as a second stringer in New York.
New York Culture
Al Bello/Getty Images
New York may be one of the only cities where the fans could like the backup more than the starter.
New York athletes are under the bright lights as soon as they set foot in the Big Apple, and let's face it: there's no doubt that Leinart isn't the shy, private athlete who avoids the press.
So, even if Leinart doesn't see the gridiron in his tenure with the Giants, he'll still be at the center of it all.
Know Your Role
Andrew Burton/Getty Images
If Leinart is indeed traded to New York, he'll have the second-string spot locked up. Eli Manning isn't going anywhere, so there's realistically no reason for Leinart to believe he'll start.
So, Leinart and New York have the same set of expectations going into a possible deal.
Possible Quarterback Controversy
Grant Halverson/Getty Images
Yes, I know what I said in the last slide, but things don't always work out that ideally.
Even though there's no question about who would be the starting quarterback for the 2010 season, this is a concern worth noting for down the road, as you're going to have two high-profile quarterbacks on the same team.
If Leinart stays with the G-Men for the long term, it seems inevitable that if Eli starts struggling, people could be calling for Leinart.
This would be an immense distraction and a recipe for destruction.
Curse of Ron Dayne
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Even though he was the thunder to Tiki Barber's lightning, Ron Dayne didn't live up to the NFL expectations people had for him after he won the Heisman Trophy.
In five years as a Giant, Dayne rushed for just over 2,000 yards; even taking into account his lost 2003 campaign, that's only 500 or so yards a season, Now, he's out of the league after stops in Denver and Houston.
This is not a good precedent for a Heisman winner playing backup in New York.
The City That Never Sleeps
Harry How/Getty Images
I don't know if you know this, but New York has a pretty extensive night life.
Couple this with an omnipresent media that watches an athlete's every move, and it creates a situation that some people who simply can't handle.
Take Jeremy Shockey, whose comment about Bill Parcells' sexual orientation landed him in hot water with the New York press. Or Plaxico Burress, who's now in jail because he felt he needed to carry a gun in his sweatpants.
As I said earlier, Leinart doesn't mind strutting down the red carpet, and he'd have plenty of opportunity for that in the Big Apple.
Leinart's Own Negativity
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Matt Leinart clearly wants to be (and thinks he should be) a starting NFL quarterback.
So if I'm Matt Leinart, I don't want to go to the Giants. After all, I have won that little trophy called the Heisman, and there's no definitive consensus that I won't make it as a starter, because the Cardinals haven't given me a chance since my rookie year.
Send me to Oakland!
Can Leinart Be Quiet from the Bench?
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
If Leinart has an ounce of humility, he didn't show it this off season.
Leinart was yelling at his receivers and blaming the Cardinal organization for his lackluster preseason performance.
If he's making this big of a fuss with a team that invested so much in him, how the hell is he going to keep quiet as a backup in New York?
Eli still owns the night.