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Where Will Matt Leinart End Up? Nine Possible Destinations for Cardinals QB

Josh McCainSenior Writer ISeptember 1, 2010

CHICAGO - AUGUST 28: Matt Leinart #7 of the Arizona Cardinals walks in the bench area during a preseason game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on August 28, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Bears 14-9. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports is reporting that the Arizona Cardinals are actively shopping former first round pick Matt Leinart around the league.

It's hard to imagine any team wanting to trade for the former Heisman winner since he is due to make $7.36 million next season. If any trade were to happen, that would probably have to be renegotiated.

It is more likely, as Mike Floria of ProFootballTalk.com points out, that Leinart will be released by Saturday.

If so, what team would want to pick him up, and in what capacity?

First off, I don't think any team out there would be willing to make him a starter. We are 12 days away from opening Sunday, and there is no way he could supplant another quarterback that quickly.

So what teams would want him as a backup?

New England Patriots

After Tom Brady there are Brian Hoyer and Zac Robinson. These two don't instill the same confidence of a Matt Cassel.

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Bill Belichick has made a career in New England of taking other teams' castaways and rejuvenating their careers. 

Could a few years under Brady and in Belichick's system save Leinart's career?

Cleveland Browns

With Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace as the No. 1 and 2 quarterbacks for the Browns, their passing attack isn't scaring anyone in the AFC North right now.

Like I said, there probably isn't anywhere in the NFL where Leinart could start right now, but Cleveland might be his best chance of being a starter by year's end.

Houston Texans

They lost backup Rex Grossman to the Washington Redskins in the offseason and replaced him and Dan Orlovsky.

That and the fact everyone is learning a new system since the Texans also lost offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to the Redskins means Leinart won't be too far behind.

Indianapolis Colts

Curtis Painter is terrible. If Peyton Manning goes down, then the Colts return to being the team they were in the late '80s and most of the '90s, which means a very high draft pick for them next season.

This might be the best place for Leinart to land. I know he wants to play, but that isn't going to happen barring some sort of injury to the starter.

In Indy, if/when he gets his opportunity, he'll have a better line protecting him as well as more weapons to throw to.

Dallas Cowboys

Jon Kitna isn't the same quarterback that started in Cincinnati several years ago. Now he's barely serviceable. The Cowboys would be foolish not to consider signing Leinart if he were released.

As of right now the Cowboys' offensive line is a patchwork job, and Tony Romo has been getting hammered in the preseason. It wouldn't be unrealistic in the tough NFC East if Romo missed a few games or series due to injury.

If I were a Cowboys fan, I'd rather see Leinart coming off the bench than Kitna.

Philadelphia Eagles

Michael Vick hasn't had any trouble since a shooting took place at his birthday party in Virginia Beach a few months ago, but if I'm Andy Reid, I don't know if I'm willing to gamble that trouble won't find Vick this season.

In this situation Leinart would probably be the third-string quarterback, but Reid would probably sleep better at night knowing he has a safety blanket in case Kevin Kolb gets hurt and Vick gets into trouble.

Minnesota Vikings

This one is a stretch, but (and this might just be me) I don't think Tarvaris Jackson is a capable starter in the league.

If all holds true and the Vikings either trade or release Sage Rosenfels, then all they would have backing up Old Man Favre would be Jackson.

Leinart (though I'm sure he doesn't want to) could learn from another aging quarterback and possibly step in and take the helm after Brett finally retires, which, if you're a betting man, I believe the over/under for is age 50.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

With Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson as the No. 1 and 2 quarterbacks, this is another team where Leinart could wind up the starter by year's end.

Seattle Seahawks

Leinart could rejoin coach Pete Carroll in Seattle.

I know the Seahawks traded away a second round pick to the Chargers for Charlie Whitehurst, but honestly, until I see him play in a regular season game, I'm not sold on him.

With J.P. Losman as the third-string quarterback, if Matt Hasselbeck goes down and Whitehurst doesn't pan out, having Leinart back there instead of Losman would be a better option.

Well, there you have it, loyal readers—some possible landing spots for Matt Leinart if in fact the Cardinals do release him.

If I named your team, do you agree that Leinart would improve your backup scenario? Also, please let me know some other spots you think he'd end up.

Until next time, you can follow me on Twitter @jomac006.

UPDATE

Adam Schefter of ESPN has tweeted that the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and New York Giants have inquired about trading for Leinart. I wouldn't think any of these teams would be that interested in Leinart, especially not the Bill. With both Trent Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick I wouldn't think they'd want to take on Leinart's contract.

UPDATE NO. 2

BuffaloBills.com is reporting that the team has not had any discussions in regards to trading for Leinart.

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