Matt Leinart: Exploring the Troubled Arizona Cardinals Quarterback's Options

Chris MatcovichCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2010

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 14:  Quarterback Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals watches from the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Houston Texans at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 19-16.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It seems all but a foregone conclusion that the Arizona Cardinals will go with Derek Anderson over Matt Leinart at starting quarterback. 

This is a bit of a surprise considering, with the departure of Kurt Warner, Leinart was finally going to take his place as starting quarterback of the Cardinals.  But with a subpar preseason to this point, the Cardinals have basically given up on a Leinart and are actively looking to move him.

There are three teams that could be looking to acquire the services of Leinart before the start of the regular season.

The Giants and Raiders might be interested in adding Leinart as their backup quarterback behind their proven starters Eli Manning and Jason Campbell. 

The Bills seem to be the only team that he could be traded to that he would be a candidate to start.  Although Chan Gailey likes Trent Edwards, Leinart is still probably a better quarterback, and having him as the starter opening day would be an upgrade.

Although there are some options for Leinart at the NFL level, it might be his best bet to go off to another league, rehab his image and work on his game.  An obvious choice would be to take his talents to the upstart UFL.

The UFL currently employs former NFL players such as Jeff Garcia, Ahman Green, and Shane Olivea on its rosters.  Also the league's Omaha team has just recently signed Maurice Clarett after his prision stint. 

Leinart, like Clarett, could repair his image by playing in the UFL and showing he has not only changed his attitude, but also has improved his game. 

An example of someone using the UFL to improve their game is J.P. Losman.  Losman was last years UFL MVP and, after a great season with the Las Vegas franchise, he was able to sign a contract with the Seattle Seahawks.  If Leinart is willing to rededicate himself, there is no reason this can't be him next season.

But maybe the best option for Leinart at this point is to quit football altogether and do something completely different.

People around Leinart have always questioned his dedication.  He could always be seen partying, and doing photo shoots, but he has always lacked something on the field at the professional level.  So maybe he would be better off taking his millions back to Southern California and just living the life.

The thing is, Matt Leinart is a nobody without football.  The parties and attention he is accustomed to are all because he is a NFL quarterback.  If he hasn't realized it yet, Leinart will learn that he needs football.

In the end, the best option for Leinart is a trip to the UFL to rehab his image.  He would be able to start for the team that signs him and begin the process of rededicating himself to football. Leinart has so much talent. It would be a shame to see him continue to waste it.