Leinart Era Comes to an End

GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 14: Quarterback Matt Leinart of the Arizona Cardinals is introduced prior to preseason NFL game against the Houston Texans at the University of Phoenix Stadium on August 14, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Texans 19-16. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Matt Leinart, it's been real.  It's been a real disappointment that is.

The now former Arizona Cardinals quarterback was released today by the only NFL team he has known.  Drafted in the first round of the 2006 NFL Draft after he fell to them ( you think those that passed on him knew what they were doing?), Leinart never really had a shot to show what he could do.  When he did get a shot, he failed.

Leinart was drafted by former Cards coach Dennis Green.  When Ken Whisenhunt took over in 2007, you had the sense Leinart's days in Arizona could be numbered.  However, Leinart was given a shot to start and ultimately got injured.  Enter Kurt Warner.  Warner then took over and resurrected his career.  The rest, they say, is history.

Leinart went into training camp in 2008 thinking he may end up being the starter.  Whisenhunt said at the time he never believed in a player losing his job to injury.  However, from the very beginning, after the way Warner played to finish out 2007, you knew it was only a matter of time before Whisenhunt would name Warner his starter for the 2008 season.  Leinart would only start one more game after that, last year in Tennessee.

After Kurt Warner announced his retirement after last season ended, Leinart once again was expected to take the reins.  From that point though, many fans called for the Cards to find a different choice in free agency.  Many wanted the Cardinals to pick up Donovan McNabb.  However the Cards never proclaimed much interest in the veteran quarterback.  They were set on giving the heir apparent to Warner a shot.  Again though, some doubted he would survive the off-season as the starter.

During the first week of practice in Flagstaff at training camp, some fans mercifully chanted for Derek Anderson.  When Anderson was picked up instead of McNabb during free agency, some wondered why?  Some wondered if Anderson was any better than Leinart?  However as it got closer to the start of training camp, the chatter was more and more against Leinart and pro Anderson.

Personally I wanted to see the Cards give Leinart a chance in the regular season.  Clearly he didn't play that well in the preseason.  He was even outplayed by the now number two quarterback, Max Hall, who is an undrafted rookie.  When Leinart mouthed off this week about his demotion to the second team for the game against the Chicago Bears, the writing was on the wall.  Leinart was done as an Arizona Cardinal.

Now, we move on.  Time to see if Derek Anderson can run the Cards offense.  I think he'll be ok.  Just keep this in mind though, if he fails, in comes Max Hall.  I know some other rookie quarterbacks named Ryan, Flacco, and Sanchez over the past couple of years that haven't fared all that bad.  It's the exception rather than the rule to see a rookie come in and succeed behind center.  Max Hall has those tools though I believe and will be more than ready if Anderson can't slice it.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: 2006 NFL Draft Arizona Cardinals Chicago Bears Dennis Green Derek Anderson Donovan Mcnabb Ken Whisenhunt Kurt Warner Matt Leinart Max Hall