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- Cardinals Finally Sign Matt Leinart

Chris Pokorny August 15, 2006
Chris Pokorny
PFC Owner & Writer

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The wait is finally over. The Arizona Cardinals signed first-round QB Matt Leinart to a six-year deal worth about $51 million, according to Tom Condon, Leinart's agent. The deal was agreed upon Monday night after Leinart had already missed two weeks of training camp. According to the deal, Leinart will be guaranteed $14 million.

Earlier in the draft, Cardinals head coach Dennis Green chastized Leinart and his agent for not accepting a "more than generous" offer from the organization. For weeks, Leinart has been the only first-round pick not to sign.

"We're happy to be done and Matt's happy," Condon said.

Leinart, the tenth overall pick in the draft, is not scheduled to play much, if at all, this season. Kurt Warner has looked solid in camp and the preseason, and with the addition of Edgerrin James to the running game, the Cardinals are primed for a possible playoff run.

Leinart led one of the longest winning streaks in NCAA history for the USC Trojans. He was originally projected to be the first quarterback selected in the draft, but Vince Young seems to have slipped in front of him slightly. Leinart is a left-handed quarterback who has almost everything that you would look for in a player. He was well-known as being a leader at USC and taking charge in a game when it counted.

Leinart does not force the ball into coverage often, reducing the amount of turnovers that he throws. He is built well and can take a hit without any glaring problems. He doesn't throw the ball very hard, but his arm strength is good enough for the NFL level. He is very accurate and almost always gives his receivers a chance to make a play on the footall. He is decent throwing on the run, but he is not athletic enough to take off and run the ball very often.

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