|Leinart: Going back to Cali. (Getty Images)|
Quarterback Matt Leinart will sign with the Oakland Raiders Tuesday, according to the team. There were reports over the weekend that Leinart would end up in Oakland and now he'll be the second Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from USC on the roster.
It's not the career Leinart envisioned when the Cardinals selected him 10th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft (Vince Young was the third pick that year; Jay Cutler went 11th), but it's further proof that the personnel-evaluation process is as much art as science. Either way, Leinart, along with second-year quarterback Terrelle Pryor, will now serve as Carson Palmer's backup.
Leinart spent his first four NFL seasons in Arizona where he started 11 games as a rookie but head coach Ken Whisenhunt, hired after Leinart's first year, signed Kurt Warner and used two quarterbacks in 2007. By 2008, Warner had won the job outright, and Leinart was eventually released before the the 2010 season. He later signed with the Houston Texans.
Leinart didn't see the field at all in '10, and that would've been the case in 2011, too, had Matt Schaub not gone down with a season-ending injury in Week 10. Leinart, who made his first start since 2009, didn't make it to halftime. He suffered a broken collarbone and was placed on injured reserve.
In six seasons, Leinart made 18 starts, threw for 3,950 yards, including 15 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. He'll replace the eminently replaceable Kyle Boller in Oakland where Leinart will also be reunited with Gregg Knapp, the Raiders' offensive coordinator who was the quarterbacks coach in Houston.
According to Raiders.com, Leinart joins 10 other former Heisman Trophy winners to play for the Silver and Black: Billy Cannon (1959), Jim Plunkett (1970), Marcus Allen (1981), Bo Jackson (1985), Tim Brown (1987), Andre Ware (1989), Desmond Howard (1991), Rashaan Salaam (1994), Charles Woodson (1997) and Palmer (2002).
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