Matt Leinart has signed with the Houston Texans. The quick move by Houston to sign Matt Leinart shows they have faith in him as a back-up quarterback, but it is also a bit surprising that Leinart has done this to himself. He has absolutely no shot at taking the starting job away from Matt Schaub, and probably won’t see any action during the 2010 NFL season. The reason for that is that the Texans already have a back-up quarterback in Don Orlovsky, who himself wasn’t going to see any action either. On all sides, this is a surprising signing, but it gives the Texans depth in case they suffer a big injury.
According to ESPN, there was far less interest in Leinart than NFL analysts had originally projected, and that could stem from so many teams already set in their rosters for the 2010 NFL season. Maybe Leinart will have a better chance finding a new team in the next offseason, or maybe the Texans are thinking they can use Leinart as trade bait if there is another NFL team that suffers a catastrophic injury during the rest of the season. It’s also pretty ironic, though, that Leinart joins the team that just cut former USC quarterback John David Booty in order to make room for him on the team.
Leinart has fallen pretty far since he was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. It was thought that the job in Arizona would be his for years to come, but when the team gave Kurt Warner one final shot in the NFL, they were pleasantly surprised when they discovered Warner could still play. That worked against Leinart, and though he now has an NFC Championship ring thanks to Warner, he also finds himself on a team where the chances of seeing action are worse than his last situation. In the end, this is going to be viewed as a move of desperation by Leinart, and he probably shouldn’t buy a house in Houston just yet.
Last season, quarterback Matt Schaub had an amazing year for the Houston Texans, throwing for 4,770 yards and 29 touchdowns in his sixth professional year. The Virginia product went 396-583 in passing, and had a quarterback rating of 98.6 for the season. He looks to be even better this season, especially still having the best wide receiver in the game as one of his targets. Look for Schaub and Andre Johnson to put on quite a show for Leinart to watch from the bench as Houston heads into the AFC Playoffs for the first time.