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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Raiders don't need Matt Leinart

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

In a post Tuesday night, I wrote that I didn’t think Matt Leinart would be a good fit with any of the four AFC West teams.

However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday morning that the Oakland Raiders are one of three teams to talk to Arizona about Leinart, who is on the verge of officially losing his starting job quarterback job with the Cardinals.

I still don’t think Leinart is a good fit in the AFC West at this time.

I’m not totally shocked Oakland could look at Leinart, but I do think it is a waste of time. The Raiders should be looking for receivers and offensive linemen (maybe they are), not quarterbacks.

I don’t know where Leinart would fit in Oakland’s quarterbacking pecking order. Jason Campbell is the clear starter, Bruce Gradkowski is the backup and Kyle Boller will likely be the No. 3 quarterback unless Colt Brennan surprisingly bypasses him.

Unless Campbell’s wrist and stinger injuries are worse than expected, I don’t think it makes any sense to insert Leinart into the mix prior to the start of the season. From this point on, it’s all about getting ready for games on a weekly basis. It’s not like a lot of special attention could be given to Leinart as he tries to save his career.

Leinart, on paper, may be a better player than Gradkowski, but Gradkowski has been better than Leinart when he’s played recently. Plus, Gradkowski has a special connection with his teammates. If Campbell can’t play, I’d think Gradkowski would be better for Oakland than Leinart in 2010. Trading a pick for Leinart to replace Boller as the emergency quarterback would be a waste.

Campbell may not be the answer at starting quarterback in three years, but would Leinart be, either?

I just don’t see any scenarios where adding Leinart would make Oakland a better team at this point. Oakland bypassed Leinart at No. 7 in the 2006 draft (the Raiders took safety Michael Huff instead, even though they needed a quarterback), and I think they should bypass him again now that he’s on the trade block.

UPDATE: The Raiders deny Schefter’s report. The Raiders said they are happy with their current quarterback group. This serves as a nice stance of support for Gradkowski and Boller.