Much of the chatter regarding Matt Leinart’s Cardinals tenure started with Michael Lombardi’s column last week suggesting that the team could move on without their former first-round draft pick. In the course of the past week, we’ve witnessed Leinart go from starter to backup to likely to be cut/traded.
The more that surfaces in this story, the more it feels like Leinart, one way or another, is done in Arizona.
Ignoring, for now, all of the reasons behind what sounds like a fractured relationship, one of the big questions is where Leinart could end up. As Jason La Canfora noted in his weekly live chat, the market for Leinart is “soft” and not many teams are interested in his contract (which reportedly pays $2.49 million this season and $7.4 million in 2011).
Amid a report by former colleague Adam Schefter that the Bills, Raiders and Giants had all discussed (a key being some of these discussions could have taken place months ago) trading for Leinart, two of those teams quickly and vehemently denied it. The Bills called the report “erroneous.” The Raiders also denied ever discussing trading for Leinart.
No such denial by the Giants, who lost backup QB Jim Sorgi to a season-ending injury.
It’s unknown what the Cardinals would want in return for Leinart, but Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic reports the team is considering all three options — keeping him as a backup, trading him or releasing him — and that interested clubs have called.
Leinart has said he isn’t interested in being a backup (though I’m not convinced he has a choice), which presumably would dissuade teams from wanting him in that role. If his current situation in Arizona is irreconcilable, the next step appears to be his release.