The Arizona Cardinals have released quarterback Matt Leinart, ending a rocky stint with the team that began with fanfare as he was drafted 10th overall in 2006 and ended this preseason with the former USC star taking a backseat to Derek Anderson.
The team announced the decision to release the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Saturday.
Leinart played in 29 games with 17 starts for Arizona, and threw for 3,893 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
Leinart came into this season looking to finally prove himself and show his teammates he was ready to handle all the responsibilities of starting as quarterback.
Leinart started the first two preseason games but was mostly unimpressive.
The Cardinals started Anderson the next two games as rumors swirled about Leinart’s future with the team and he complained to reporters about being left out of the loop.
Leinart’s initial stint as Arizona’s starter in 2007 didn’t go so well, either.
Leinart was coming off a decent rookie season in which he threw for more than 2,500 yards and 11 touchdowns after replacing Kurt Warner in Week 5.
That gave Leinart the edge over the veteran the next training camp and the left-hander opened as starter. He lasted five games, sharing time with Warner while throwing four interceptions and two touchdowns with a quarterback rating of 61.9 before a broken collarbone ended his season.
To me, this looks like a very dumb personnel decision. Anderson has been horrible(66.5 and 42.1 passer ratings) since 2008.(He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2007) I know he played for Cleveland but he never impressed me. Leinart hasn’t been a whole lot better, but his upside IMHO is better than Anderson’s. After making the playoffs two years in a row, I think Arizona is reverting back to its cellar dwelling days. Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals go 5-11 this year.
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