With the Cardinals done with quarterback Matt Leinart and trying (so far unsuccessfully) to persuade someone else to send an ice sculpture or a turkey loaf to Arizona in exchange for his services, Leinart has a certain amount of control over the process.
For starters, he has two years left on his current contract, at base salaries of $2.485 million in 2010 and $7.36 million in 2011. If he’s not willing to restructure his deal, those numbers (especially the one for next year) become a problem.
Still, there’s a chance that a team would take Leinart on a one-year rental basis as a backup. With Marc Bulger getting $3.8 million this year in Baltimore, $2.485 million for Leinart isn’t necessarily unreasonable.
That’s where Leinart’s words become relevant. By popping off about not getting a fair shake at starting in Arizona and, more importantly, wanting to be a starter elsewhere, Leinart has helped scare away anyone interested in a backup who would be willing to accept his role as a backup.
As a result, it means that no one will trade for Leinart, that he’ll be released on or before Saturday, and that he’ll be able to sign with any team he wants, including Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, who have been conspicuously quiet throughout this process.
We’ve floated this theory by a league source with knowledge of the situation, and the source didn’t scoff at the notion that Leinart is trying to ensure that he won’t be traded, so that he can pick his next destination.