Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Matt Leinart has connections with Raiders
By Bill Williamson
While I believe Matt Leinart isn’t the perfect fit in Oakland because of its current quarterback setup, there are connections between the lame duck Arizona quarterback and the Silver and Black that shows why Oakland has considered him:
Chuck Price, one of Leinart’s agents, has long told the story of Oakland owner Al Davis calling Leinart days after the 2006 draft. Even though Davis took safety Michael Huff at No.7 (Leinart went to the Cardinals at No. 10), Price said Davis told Leinart how much he admired the quarterback and his game.
Oakland assistant Paul Hackett recruited Leinart to USC and the two have a good relationship. Perhaps a reunion would ignite Leinart.
Oakland personnel man Keith Rowan was Leinart’s first NFL offensive coordinator. Rowan picked up Leinart at the Phoenix Airport after he arrived from the NFL draft. Rowan was around Leinart when he was an ascending player and probably still believes in him, which would be important to Leinart moving forward.
Leinart grew up a Raiders’ fan in Southern California. We all know Davis loves Raiders’ fans.
If Oakland were to make a serious push for Leinart, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Arizona asked for backup Bruce Gradkowski in return because they’d need a backup. I'm not sure what Oakland would do in that case.
Here is another AFC West thought: If the Cardinals are looking for a quarterback in return for Leinart, perhaps they’d be interested in Kansas City’s Brodie Croyle. Kansas City head coach Todd Haley coached Leinart in Arizona. Haley has been complimentary of Croyle and I don’t know if he’d find that trade prudent.
But it is clear the AFC West could play a role in Leinart because of past connections, whether it makes perfect sense or not.
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.