By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 at 8:39 am in Oakland Raiders.
Should be a link up soon for an online chat today at noon, at which time I’m sure I’ll be asked about the ESPN report linking Arizona quarterback Matt Leinart to the Raiders.
(Here’s the link to the chat . . . )
Here’s what I think:
– Got an e-mail tip from someone saying they knew someone else who said Jason Campbell’s wrist injury was more serious than the Raiders were letting on and the Leinart option was being explored. Too flimsy to write without corroboration. Didn’t get corroboration. (I’ll only mention it now because it was reported somewhere else).
– Campbell was throwing the ball, seemingly without pain, during the media window the very next day, which seemed to indicate the situation wasn’t dire after all.
– Al Davis, at one time, liked Leinart. Someone in the room the day Art Shell was fired says Davis blamed the former coach for taking Michael Huff over Leinart (or more accurately talking Davis into drafting Huff over Leinart).
– Leinart has given no indication _ zero _ that he’s a top-flight NFL quarterback prospect. The Cardinals tried to give him the job in 2008, but he was so awful during a preseason game in Oakland (4-for-12, 3 interceptions) he lost his job. You could say the Raiders were indirectly responsible for putting the Cardinals in the Super Bowl, because Leinart’s replacement was Kurt Warner.
At this point, Leinart looks like a quarterback who was carried to his prospect status as a collegian by a stunningly talented supporting cast at USC. Think Gino Toretta and Ken Dorsey at Miami.
– At no point in his career has Leinart had a game which equaled the one Bruce Gradkowski put together last season in Pittsburgh. He threw for 405 yards once, but it was a loss in which he threw a pair of interceptions.
Gradkowski over Leinart? In a heartbeat. Kyle Boller, too. Maybe even Colt Brennan.
– Jay Glazer, the Fox Sports reporter who works as a mixed martial arts trainer with Leinart, told the Dan Patrick Show (per Profootballtalk.com) Leinart wants to start someplace. He feels he’s “done enough” to be a starter.
So Leinart is apparently delusional as well.
– Leinart is making nearly $2.5 million this year and scheduled to make more than $7 million next year.
Unless Leinart would be willing to take a pay cut, and the Cardinals were willing to accept a Raiders overture something along the lines of, “Hey, we’ve got this Alex Daniels guy you may have heard of” then the dots on this story don’t connect in terms of Leinart being a Raider.
If they did connect, it would be their worst decision since the Javon Walker-DeAngelo Hall-Gibril Wilson spending spree.