You can add another former Heisman trophy winner to the Raiders’ collection. Apparently Matt Leinart’s audition in Oakland today was just a mere formality. Over the weekend it was reported that the Raiders would ink the former USC Trojan at some point this week. That point in time was today, with the franchise making his signing official with this announcement on the team’s website.
The Raiders and Leinart seemed destined to cross paths at some point. Al Davis’ longtime love affair with USC made Leinart speculation a constant every time he was mentioned in trade rumors or was available via free agency.
Of course even without Davis running the silver and black show Greg Knapp’s experience coaching Leinart combined with Oakland’s necessity for a veteran backup made the union all but inevitable.
Naturally the irony is that Leinart will be playing behind another former Trojan Heisman trophy winner in Carson Palmer. That is if he can make the roster as the team’s backup. As of now that would seem very likely considering the only other QBs on the roster are Rhett Bomar and Terrelle Pryor. Pryor’s roster spot is a lock which leaves just Bomar to beat out for a job. That shouldn’t be a problem for Leninart but you never know what will happen in camp.
For Leinart this latest stop in his career reassures what he’s become – a journeyman.
Hard to believe there was once a point in time when Matt Leinart was valued as a potential number one overall selection in the NFL draft. Unable to win the job in Arizona, Leinart passed up the chance to compete for a starting gig in Seattle opting instead to remain a clipboard carrier in Houston. Sadly once he did get his shot as a starter in Houston Leinart didn’t even make it through one half of football suffering a season-ending injury.
If Leinart does start now it will only be a result of something unfortunate happening to Palmer. Even though he’s been a draft bust there is no doubt the Raiders will be in better shape with Leinart under center than Kyle Boller. That much is painfully obvious after last season.