As the ego of unproven quarterback Matt Leinart continues to grow, so too do his chances of becoming a New York Giant.
News has arisen that the Arizona Cardinals placed Leinart on the trading block and three teams were immediately thrown into the mix—the Buffalo Bills, the Oakland Raiders, and the Giants.
Clearly the Cardinals are fed up with Leinart who has done nothing but disappoint during his NFL career. After being selected with the 10th pick in the 2006 draft, the former Heisman-winning USC Trojan has lost his starting job multiple times to a couple of quarterbacks who were supposed to be "done."
And during this roughly four-year tenure, Leinart has put up an unimpressive quarterback rating of 70.8 with a 57.1 completion percentage, 3,893 passing yards, 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
At times, his passes look as unimpressive as former Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yepremian.
And while preseason doesn't bear much importance, it was Leinart's 2008 week three of the preseason performance that ultimately gave Kurt Warner the opportunity to lead the Cardinals to the Super Bowl.
Leinart went four-for-12 with three interceptions, and these picks weren't just your average, run-of-the-mill turnovers. They were so noticeably painful that even UCLA and Notre Dame fans had to begin to feel sympathy for this sworn enemy. On Leinart's second interception he threw while rolling out to the right right to a Raiders defender. It wasn't a little mistake that the defender jumped.
It was right to him.
Despite all of this there are three teams rumoured to have interest in Leinart so far. It's a toss up between the Raiders and Bills for the better fit, while the reported Giants' interest is a bit puzzling.
The Raiders are waiting for answers on their big off-season acquisition Jason Campbell who left the team's third preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers with a stinger, and also suffered a wrist injury on the previous drive. If he is healthy for the season opener, Campbell will definitely be the starter, but Leinart would arguably be an upgrade over Bruce Gradkowski.
Meanwhile, the Bills have a slew of unproven quarterbacks at the professional level and might be the best fit for a quarterback who wants to play now.
Projected starter, Trent Edwards, had a celebrated career at Stanford led by his passing strength and play-reading abilities, but has has had a mediocre career in the NFL. Yes, he unseated J.P. Losman, but was that really a surprise?
The rest of the quarterback committee includes former Louisville star Brian Brohm, Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Troy rookie Levi Brown. None of these quarterbacks have proven they can be a starter in Buffalo for years to come, though Brown hasn't had as much time.
Leinart could only be seen as an upgrade here as well.
And then there's the Giants.
Eli Manning is undoubtedly the starter; it's not even a question. Manning has been the team's iron man and had his best statistical year when he was supposed to have his worst. And even though Big Blue doesn't have much experience behind Manning, a quarterback who has the third-longest active streak of consecutive starts at the position, the team isn't exactly in dire need for Leinart's questionable services as a fail-safe.
Yes, Jim Sorgi was placed on IR, but he wasn't really expected to contribute much to the team in the regular season.
So that leaves second-year man Rhett Bomar as the most plausible option, and he hasn't played all that bad this preseason. Through the first three games Bomar is 29-for-53 (54.7 percent) with 374 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. While the completion percentage could be higher, those aren't terrible numbers for games that don't matter.
Now, upon reading New York I expected to see the Jets follow, but that wasn't the case. While the Jets seem to believe in second-year Mark Sanchez as he helped the team reach the AFC Championship game in 2009 with solid play, he still has a lot to prove, and second-year struggles certainly aren't out of the realm of possibilities.
With the chance of a Sanchez slump, the Jets should entertain the idea of Leinart, as their backup quarterback situation includes aging Mark Brunell, Kellen Clemens and Erik Ainge, the last of whom is hurt.
Brunell isn't a bad quarterback by any means, but having Leinart would be a definite upgrade over Brunell who might not be in the league much longer.
Clemens is a lot like Leinart as he has also had several chances to win the starting quarterback job but was constantly beat out by the likes of Chad Pennington, Brett Favre, and the rookie Sanchez. Leinart hasn't shown that he is better than Clemens, but he would be a nice change for New York's AFC team.
The bottom line is the Giants simply have too many other areas of concern to give up anything to the Cardinals for an overpaid backup quarterback. Regardless of what the Giants give Arizona, it would be a waste because there is no foreseeable outcome where Leinart would be that helpful of an addition to Big Blue.
With Leinart already complaining to the media about playing time, bringing him to a team with a less likely chance of playing and a larger media market isn't a wise idea. However, bringing him into the same media-heavy city with a more uncertain quarterback situation could pay off.
Plus the Cardinals would be pretty rude not to thank the Jets somehow for Kerry Rhodes.
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