[UPDATE,11:31 AM EDT: Seems like Vinny DiTrani Day here at BBV. Vinny is reporting that the Matt Leinart to the Giants talks have "pretty much been dismissed." ]
[UPDATE, 10:54 AM EDT: Vinny DiTrani, the most veteran of the Giants' beat writers, offers some free advice to GM Jerry Reese. I tend to agree with Vinny on this one.]
[UPDATE, 10:51 AM EDT: Leinart not interested in backup role.]
Could Matt Leinart be the backup quarterback for the New York Giants?
Adam Schefter reported this morning that the Giants, Buffalo Bills and Oakland Raiders have all contacted the Arizona Cardinals about Leinart, who has lost the starting job in Arizona and is on the trading block.
Let's look at the pros and cons of bringing Leinart to the Giants.
- Leinart is a former first-round pick (10th overall). Having played for USC and been a No. 1 pick, he has a better pedigree than Rhett Bomar (fifth round, Sam Houston State). Leinart fits the David Carr profile of a former No. 1 pick backing up Eli Manning and trying to turn around a stalled career. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio made a similar point earlier today.
- Leinart is entering his fifth season in the league, has played 29 games and started 17. Bomar has played zero games.
- Like the Keith Bulluck and Shawn Andrews signings, this again would show that the Giants are serious about winning this season.
- Leinart has played exceedingly well this preseason, going 19-for-23 for 161 yards and one touchdown, a rating of 110.3. How you lose your job performing like that I don't know.
- Leinart has been bypassed for the less-than-stellar Derek Anderson by Arizona. In his fifth year in the league, and it is obvious Cardinals' coach Ken Whisenhunt has never learned to trust him. He has a career quarterback rating of just 70.8 and has never lived up to the hype coming out of USC.
- He has a huge contract that would have to be re-worked if he came to New York.
- From afar it seems Leinart has never been happy as a backup, and that he has never been all that interested in preparing well to do that job. No chance he would depose Manning as the starter, so you wonder if his attitude about being No. 2 would be any better with the Giants.
- Trading for him would cost the Giants a draft pick. Even though it would likely be a low-rounder, it's not easy to part with a draft choice to acquire a player you actually hope you will never have to use.
Looking at the Leinart situation, you have to wonder a few things. Considering the money he is making, and the fact that Anderson is the alternative, why has Arizona chosen not to give the job to Leinart? Pretty obvious there is something about the guy that has never set well with the Arizona organization.
Why are Buffalo and Oakland the other two teams interested?
Buffalo makes some sense to me, even though the Bills are now denying any interest in Leinart. The Bills' starter is Trent Edwards, and the backups are Ryan Fitzpatrick and Bryan Brohm. Leinart would upgrade the No. 2 slot, and might push Edwards for the No. 1 job.
I have no idea why the Raiders would pursue Leinart, unless they are worried about the long-term health of Jason Campbell. Bringing him in would fit Al Davis's MO, but it would also open the potential for a quarterback controversy in Oakland. If the Raiders believe Campbell is their guy I don't know why they would bring in Leinart.