Skip to content

Matt Leinart took a big pay cut

When Matt Leinart said he wanted to stay in Arizona because it was his best chance to play in 2010, it was part of a high stakes game of chicken with the Cardinals.  He was essentially daring Arizona to keep him.

Lost in the negotiating ploy was the fact Arizona did present Leinart his best chance to play and ultimately his best earning potential  for 2010.

Word comes from John McClain of the Houston Chronicle that Leinart is only slated to make $600,000 in 2010, with a maximum of $1 million if he reaches incentives.

It’s interesting to note that those incentives are tied to his spot on the depth chart, not whether he plays.  Leinart gets $23,125 for each game he’s designated the team’s backup, rather than the inactive No. 3 quarterback.

Even if Leinart was the backup all 16 weeks — which won’t happen — the salary must be humbling for him.  It’s a huge reduction from the $2.5 million he was slated to make in Arizona, and less than half of what Texans backup Dan Orlovsky will make.

Leinart didn’t want to be a backup at his new location, and he won’t be.  Yet.  He’s now a No. 3 quarterback and has the salary to match.  

It’s up to him whether this marks a career low point or a preview for his next five years.

Permalink 37 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Arizona Cardinals, Houston Texans, Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories
37 Responses to “Matt Leinart took a big pay cut”
  1. Hap says: Sep 7, 2010 4:27 PM

    He’s better than a 3rd string qb. I hope he gets a chance (several games) with someone who has decent OL so we can see if he has it.

  2. red13 says: Sep 7, 2010 4:29 PM

    He’s still stealing.

  3. da_skinolas says: Sep 7, 2010 4:31 PM

    a pay cut from 2.5 million to (600K or 1 million) is hardly “humbling”… Most would be happy with any of those figures! Going from atop the depth chart in AZ to looking for a job was the humbling part!

  4. Matt Cribbin says: Sep 7, 2010 4:35 PM

    So dumb, stay in Az, Anderson is going to stink it up eventually. And Bam! You get your chance. Now he’s making half and he’s a third stringer. Good goin’ man!

  5. LunarPie says: Sep 7, 2010 4:37 PM

    Come on Matt, top Jamarcus Russell with your suckiness in the NFL.
    -Raiderfan

  6. metalhead0043 says: Sep 7, 2010 4:37 PM

    That’s what happens when you are a bust.

  7. thegoldengod says: Sep 7, 2010 4:39 PM

    this article really just highlights how overpaid Dan Orlovsky is…

  8. The Tire Slasher says: Sep 7, 2010 4:40 PM

    Poor bastard. It must really suck to only make $23,125 a week.

  9. alewatcher says: Sep 7, 2010 4:41 PM

    “Wake-up call for Mat Leinart”.

  10. quadya says: Sep 7, 2010 4:41 PM

    what a loser

  11. Dooly says: Sep 7, 2010 4:41 PM

    Dead horse meet PFT’s foot.

  12. Vaegrin says: Sep 7, 2010 4:42 PM

    So when the Cardinals started shopping Leinart, and even gave him permission to seek a trade himself, his tactic was to make himself difficult to trade. His goals, apparently, were to choose his own team, to reduce the extent of his paycut, and to avoid being a backup.
    The results were that fewer teams wanted him, he had to take a 75% paycut, and he’s #3 on the depth chart. Miscalculation, anyone?

  13. sportsdrenched says: Sep 7, 2010 4:42 PM

    “and less than half of what Texans backup Dan Orlovsky will make.”
    Amazing, get it together buddy or start studying for your Series 7 Test.

  14. Psi_E06 says: Sep 7, 2010 4:43 PM

    He never had a chance Whisenhunt never liked him

  15. Bun McSticky says: Sep 7, 2010 4:43 PM

    He’s like a big Golden Retriever: cute, but stupid as a box of rocks.

  16. Ron Leflore says: Sep 7, 2010 4:45 PM

    Matt Cassell had to sit behind this guy at USC because he wasn’t recruited by Pete Carroll. Now look who is on top.

  17. Philly Cheese says: Sep 7, 2010 4:47 PM

    Wait till he sees the check from his next employer, Jack in the Box.

  18. ZombieRevolution says: Sep 7, 2010 4:47 PM

    Leinart didn’t want to be a backup at his new location, and he won’t be. Yet. He’s now a No. 3 quarterback and has the salary to match.
    Few QBs other than Mr. Favre and Mr McNabb would have entered that situation without starting at the bottom of the death chart. Unless the team wants to save money he will be ahead of DO soon.
    Boldin said “…I’ve been there and witnessed the relationship between both Matt and Coach Whisenhunt.” Maybe it was not about money and maybe we just wanted to leave. He has money and he will make decent change for holding a clipboard.
    Too many times PFT has little but bias comment or lackluster analysis on these happenings.

  19. TampaBayBucs7-9 says: Sep 7, 2010 4:49 PM

    He is a good player. He will find a spot next year with another team.

  20. forthelove says: Sep 7, 2010 5:14 PM

    @Vaegrin – or maybe the PFT crew was wrong and Leinart didn’t have such a thought out plan. Maybe he was just ticked he lost the starting job and was venting in the worst way possible. It was suggested he was strategizing to get released so he could reunite with Pete Carroll up in Seattle. Given he’ll be fighting to avoid being the #3 in Houston shows that was never going to happen.
    Also interesting another former Heisman winner (Troy Smith) who was a late round draft pick now has a higher stock than Leinart.

  21. BBrophy1 says: Sep 7, 2010 5:16 PM

    not to mention the pay cut he took when he went to the Cardinals from USC! bazzzinnnng!!

  22. TheToolofTools says: Sep 7, 2010 5:16 PM

    Why didn’t he just shut up and let Derrick Anderson be Derrick Anderson and he would have been back under center by week 4.
    This just proves how bad his teamates hated him.
    He must have really been a jerk and if your fellow players think your a strap on, the coach must send you packing.
    I wish him well… he just ruined his career though.

  23. unlost says: Sep 7, 2010 5:18 PM

    yet the “loser” is still better off than all of us winning posters of the PFT board!

  24. rusH1023 says: Sep 7, 2010 5:22 PM

    Hap says:
    He’s better than a 3rd string qb. I hope he gets a chance (several games) with someone who has decent OL so we can see if he has it.
    _________________________________
    What an idiot you are. A consistent one, I’ll give you that. This is the same OL that protected Jesus-boy Warner in several playoff seasons and one SB appearance? Pff.

  25. Alleged_Free says: Sep 7, 2010 5:29 PM

    Now look who’s on top? Hahah. Cassel was almost shipped back out of KC or benched after 1 year. On top. Hahaha.

  26. Phil in Austin says: Sep 7, 2010 5:32 PM

    $600,000 is more than most ballroom dancing instructors typically make, last time I checked.

  27. Terrell Blowens says: Sep 7, 2010 5:41 PM

    Well the headline is pretty obvious… going from demoted starter on one team to being signed as 3rd stringer on another obviously means he took a pay cut

  28. Pongo says: Sep 7, 2010 5:48 PM

    The game against the Bears where Denny Green melted down after.
    Leinhart looked dam good in that game. I thought they were on to something.

  29. Vaegrin says: Sep 7, 2010 6:15 PM

    @forthelove – you might be right; we can only guess at Leinart’s plan. Still, we know that for some reason, Leinart (or his agent) did in fact decline to pursue a trade even when the Cardinals gave him the go-ahead to do so.
    If that didn’t look like a misstep before, it sure does now.

  30. Thingamajig says: Sep 7, 2010 6:20 PM

    No big deal for leinart as he’s already pocketed 17.6 mil from the Cards.

  31. SDW2001 says: Sep 7, 2010 7:12 PM

    Hap says:
    September 7, 2010 4:27 PM
    He’s better than a 3rd string qb. I hope he gets a chance (several games) with someone who has decent OL so we can see if he has it.
    How do we know he’s better? He’s been horrible. He’s Tavaris Jackson bad. Maybe worse.

  32. superb owl says: Sep 7, 2010 7:31 PM

    naw, i am not so sure mad winefart is any better than mr. safety dance.
    if the refs hadnt made some bad calls, the lions would have beat the all-mighty vikes in that close 2008 game. and improved their 2008 winning percentage by infinity percent.

  33. Givner says: Sep 7, 2010 7:59 PM

    “He never had a chance Whisenhunt never liked him”
    … and why might that be? Not one for overpaid, prima donna, dressing room cancers myself.

  34. LAEaglefan says: Sep 7, 2010 8:10 PM

    I’d gladly be “humbled” for a salary of $600,000 a year for carrying a clipboard.

  35. wiredzen says: Sep 7, 2010 10:10 PM

    @Hap
    The cardinals only allowed 26 sacks last year, near the top in the NFL. So, I’d say he has already played behind a decent line. During the last 2-3 years, when the AZ O-line has been consistent, he still played scared when he was in, whether in practice (I witnessed that), preseason games, or during the regular season. He is a diva with little upside based on what he has shown over his career. Bottom line, he hasn’t beaten anyone out for the job. Isn’t that what he is supposed to do if he is a good as he thinks he is?

  36. SATAN says: Sep 7, 2010 11:32 PM

    I don’t think it’s a matter of Whis liking Leinart. First When Whis was OC @ Pitt I’m sure he evaluated Leinart as draft pic. Probably wasn’t his type of QB then and I’m sure his opinion didn’t change when Whis came onboard @ the Cards I don’t think he was allowed to change the QB. The Bidwells had too much invested in Leinart as the “face of franchise”. Look at how they had to sneak KW onto the field to play with the no-huddle.
    Take the Cards to the SB??? LOL Whis can do whatever he wants. He could stink this year and maybe next year (he isn’t) and get away with it.
    “In Whis we trust” is something that’s said in AZ and while I personally like Leinart and think he can be a good QB in a run first offense with a coach that he’s on the same wavelength as. I have zero problem with Whis cutting him

  37. NTMID8R3 says: Sep 8, 2010 3:38 AM

    So when the Cardinals started shopping Leinart, and even gave him permission to seek a trade himself, his tactic was to make himself difficult to trade. His goals, apparently, were to choose his own team, to reduce the extent of his paycut, and to avoid being a backup.
    The results were that fewer teams wanted him, he had to take a 75% paycut, and he’s #3 on the depth chart. Miscalculation, anyone?
    Miscalculation???? NO it is that quality education he got at USC!!!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!