The Cardinals released Matt Leinart yesterday, parting ways with the former Heisman Trophy winner who was supposed to be the franchise quarterback but couldn’t escape the backup role.
Leinart played in 29 games for Arizona with 17 starts, and threw for 3,893 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He came into this season looking to finally prove himself after Kurt Warner retired.
Leinart started the first two preseason games but was mostly unimpressive. Coach Ken Whisenhunt switched Derek Anderson to starter 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.
“In fairness to Matt, I think that it would be a tough position for him to be in a backup role,’’ Whisenhunt said. “Maybe a fresh start for him is what would be a good thing, for all of us.’’
The Cardinals tried to trade Leinart but found no acceptable deal. By cutting Leinart, Arizona doesn’t have to pay him the $2.5 million he was due this season.
Green on the market
Denver cut former Patriots
defensive end Jarvis Green
, who received a four-year contract worth nearly $12 million that included a $2.5 million signing bonus last spring . . . Justin Hartwig
, the Steelers’ starting center the last two seasons, was cut after the team failed to work out a trade for him. Hartwig was due to make $2,080,000 this year . . . The Browns activated Pro Bowl nose tackle Shaun Rogers
from the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Out pattern T.J. Houshmandzadeh
is gone from Seattle after just one season. Houshmandzadeh signed a $40 million, five-year deal before the 2009 season, including a guaranteed $7 million for the 2010 season. He was the team’s leading receiver last year with 79 catches . . . Willie Parker
became the odd man out in the Redskins’ three-way veteran running back competition when he was released. Clinton Portis
retained his starting job and Larry Johnson
beat out Parker for the backup position . . . The Seahawks are looking for a new offensive line coach after the sudden retirement of Alex Gibbs
. A team spokesman said the 69-year-old Gibbs was “worn out.’’ . . . Mike Nugent
won the Bengals’ kicking job after proving he had recovered from a groin injury. Cincinnati waived kicker Dave Rayner
, as well as receiver Matt Jones
made the team as a third cornerback and punt returner.
Bradford is No. 1 again
Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo
said No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford
will start at quarterback in the opener against Arizona. “We’re confident. The staff’s confident. The team’s confident,’’ Spagnuolo said. “It’s well-deserved.’’ An injury to A.J. Feeley
gave Bradford the chance to take plenty of snaps in the preseason . . . The Giants will be going with Sage Rosenfels
as their No. 2 quarterback behind Eli Manning
. Rosenfels passed his physical after being acquired from Minnesota Friday. Victor Cruz
, a nondrafted rookie wide receiver out of UMass, made the Giants . . . The Jets
are moving on without cornerback Darrelle Revis
, whose holdout reached its 35th day. “Darrelle’s not here and we’ve planned accordingly,’’ GM Mike Tannenbaum
said. Revis is on the reserve/did not report list . . . After not having practiced or played since having offseason hip surgery, Ed Reed
was put on the reserve/physically unable to perform list by the Ravens, meaning the safety can’t play until Week 7 . . . Saints All-Pro safety Darren Sharper
will miss at least the first six games as he recovers from microfracture surgery on his left knee . . . The Bengals got safety Reggie Nelson
, a former first-round pick, from the Jaguars for cornerback David Jones
and a conditional draft pick.
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