The Raiders worked out former Houston Texans quarterback Matt Leinart at their Alameda facility today. And no sooner did he throw a few passes, they gave him a pen. The Raiders have officially announced this move. The Raiders also worked out former Colt and Peyton Manning backup, Jim Sorgi today.
Leinart was always the odds on favorite to be signed by the Raiders as their backup quarterback. Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp was his quarterbacks coach in Houston so the two are very familiar with each other.
The former USC Trojan was also been working with former teammate Carson Palmer in the offseason at USC along with several Raider receivers. Leinart was Palmer's backup at USC until he left for the NFL at which point, Leinart took over as the starter for the Trojans.
Leinart watched as Palmer won the Heisman Trophy and later won the Heisman himself. Both quarterbacks were taken high in the NFL draft-Palmer number on overall in 2001, Leinart number tenth overall in 2006.
The Cardinals took Leinart with the tenth overall pick as their quarterback of the future. That future started early as he replaced an injured Kurt Warner after just four games into Leinart's rookie season.
Leinart struggled at quarterback and was stuck behind Kurt Warner for all but five starts the remainder of his time in Arizona. Then the team traded for Kevin Kolb and Leinart moved on to sign a one year deal with the Texans prior to the 2010 season and re-signed prior to the 2011 season.
Matt Schaub went down last season and Leinart stepped in to replace him but in his first game, he went out with a broken collarbone and was lost for the remainder of the season. The team then went with rookie TJ Yates. Yates played quite well, and even won a playoff game for the Texans.
Leinart was thrust into the starting job too early as a rookie and has yet to prove whether he can be an NFL starting quarterback. Which is more than can be said about Kyle Boller who proved he is by no means an NFL starting quarterback.
Leinart will join Rhett Bomar, and Terrelle Pryor in competition for the Raiders' primary backup quarterback spot.