Arizona Cardinals Release Matt Leinart: A Look At His Potential Landing Spots

Kenn HoekstraContributor ISeptember 4, 2010

Will Work For A Chance To Start
Will Work For A Chance To StartGrant Halverson/Getty Images

In a surprising turn of events, the Arizona Cardinals released Quarterback Matt Leinart today after the embattled Kurt Warner heir apparent lost his Preseason battle with veteran QB Derek Anderson. 

Leinart had been unhappy with his position on the depth chart and his frustrations finally came to a boil on NFL roster cut down day.

Here's a look at 10 potential suitors for the fifth-year lefty who suddenly finds himself in the market for a new job:

Five Good Fit

Buffalo Bills - Raise your hand if you think Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or Bryan Brohm has what it takes to bring the Bills to the promised land.  No one?  I didn't think so. 

Leinart's physical tools and experience make him an immediate upgrade over Fitzpatrick and Brohm. 

If Edwards fails to produce in the first 1/4 of the season, Leinart could be the perfect guy to step in and try to salvage the season.  At just 27 years old, he could be Buffalo's man for years to come.

Seattle Seahawks - Indiana Jones once said, "It's not the years, it's the mileage."  Nowhere is that more evident than with Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck, who's lost a step each season since Seattle's Super Bowl loss to the Steelers

Signing with Seattle would give Leinart the opportunity to take over for the aforementioned slowing Hasselbeck should he falter this season.  Even if he doesn't, Leinart would have a great opportunity to compete for the starting job in 2011.

Houston Texans - Matt Schaub isn't exactly the poster child for NFL Quarterback health and the Texans might be in the market for a greater insurance policy than backup QB Dan Orlovsky can provide should Schaub go down.

The Texans think this could be their year, but nothing would end their season quicker than an injury to the gun-slinging Schaub.  With Leinart, at least the Texans might stand a post-injury chance.

Pittsburgh Steelers - Pro Bowl Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is suspended for the first four games of the regular season and with the recent injury to backup Byron Leftwich, the trendy Super Bowl contenders are left with only aging journeyman Charlie Batch and unproven Dennis Dixon. 

Signing a one-year deal with Pittsburgh would give Leinart a chance to audition for other teams and play for a contender while looking for a longer-term solution.

Minnesota Vikings - Brett Favre says he's done after this year (yeah, right) and Leinart's only competition in Minnesota would be the erratic, relatively unproven Tavaris Jackson.

As with the Steelers, Leinart would have a chance to play for a contender this year and, assuming Favre is true to his word, he'd have an inside track on the starting job in 2011.

Five Remote Possibilities

Jacksonville Jaguars - David Garrard is serviceable, but he's aging and not exactly a superstar.  Leinart might be able to challenge for a starting job in 2011 and would be an instant upgrade to backup Luke McCown.

Green Bay Packers - During Brett Favre's tenure, the Packers made it their business to groom young QBs and trade them off to become starters for other teams (See Matt Hasselbeck, Mark Brunell, and Aaron Brooks among others). 

Sure, Leinart wants to play NOW, but there are worse places to land than Green Bay.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Leinart would bring an instant veteran presence to a team that features two QBs under age 25 with very little regular season experience.

If Jon Gruden were still coaching, this could get VERY interesting, but as it stands, Tampa is probably unwilling to muddy their Quarterbacking waters further.

Tennessee Titans - Kerry Collins is still in the league?  Does "Rusty Smith" sound like an all star Quarterback's name to you??

St. Louis Rams - Face it, the Rams are going to be awful this year.  Rookie Sam Bradford has been named the starter, but if he gets roughed up half as badly as I think he will, Leinart would be a much better fit to strut his stuff while the Rams protect their potential franchise QB of the future. 

And hey, he's give them a better chance to win in the interim than AJ Feely.


Ten teams.  Ten potential landing spots for Matt Leinart.  Where will the former Cardinal be forwarding his mail delivery in 2010?  Fans are sure to find out the next few weeks.

Stay tuned.