Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Matt Leinart officially joins Texans
ESPN.com news services
HOUSTON -- Quarterback Matt Leinart has officially joined the Houston Texans.
The former Heisman Trophy signed a one-year contract Tuesday. He was cut by the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday and agreed to terms with the Texans earlier this week.
The 27-year-old Leinart will be the No. 3 quarterback on the Texans behind Matt Schaub and Dan Orlovsky.
Leinart told KRIV-TV in Houston on Monday that he's looking forward to working with Texans coach Gary Kubiak, who has a reputation for developing quarterbacks.
"I am really excited to work with Gary," Leinart told KRIV. "His résumé with quarterbacks and what he's done with Matt [Schaub] is really intriguing. Matt is a great quarterback to learn from and I'm really looking forward to it."
The team would not disclose terms of the deal. The Houston Chronicle reported that the contract has a base salary of $630,000, with a maximum value of $1 million. Leinart's agent, Tom Condon, would not confirm the terms when reached by phone by The Associated Press.
The Texans return to practice Wednesday, leading up to Sunday's season opener against Indianapolis.
Leinart complained during training camp that he had issues with Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, and the two met late in the preseason. With Kurt Warner retired, Leinart figured he would get to start this season, but Derek Anderson won the job.
The Cardinals failed in efforts to trade Leinart before cutting him. By releasing him, Arizona doesn't have to pay him the $2.5 million he was due for the coming season.
Leinart said Monday that he's eager to prove that he belongs in the NFL now that he's received a second chance with the Texans.
"I know I can play," Leinart told KRIV. "I know I can have success in this league. I know I am not going to be handed anything. I've been in the same [offensive] system the last four years and now I'm excited to be a part of a new one."
Leinart was the 10th overall pick by the Cardinals in the 2006 draft. He appeared in 12 games as a rookie under coach Dennis Green and threw 11 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions. He started the first five games in 2007 under Whisenhunt before breaking his collarbone, and Warner took over.
Houston had the NFL's top passing offense last season (291 yards per game) and Schaub led the league with 4,770 yards passing.
The depth chart behind Schaub became an issue in Houston's last preseason game, when Orlovsky threw two interceptions. Third-stringer John David Booty, who succeeded Leinart as Southern Cal's starter in 2006, threw a pair of touchdown passes in the game.
The Texans cut Booty on Saturday, and joined a group of teams reportedly interested in Leinart.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.