When Carson Palmer won the Heisman Trophy in 2002 at USC, Matt Leinart was his backup. Now Leinart returns to California and will once again back up the Raiders’ starting signal-caller.The Silver and Black reportedly agreed to terms with Leinart on Tuesday, per ESPN’s Adam Shefter.
This addition makes perfect sense for the new regime in Oakland, as new offensive coordinator Gregg Knapp worked with Leinart the last two years as the quarterbacks coach for the Houston Texans.
The 6-5, 227-pound Leinart went on to win the starting job at USC and the Heisman Trophy in '04 and was the 10th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.
Leinhart best season in the NFL came in 2006 with the Cardinals as a rookie he threw for 2,547 yards with 11 touchdowns that season. After Kurt Warner's retirement, Leinart was expected to be named as the starter. But his opportunity to start was lost in training camp to veteran quarterback Derek Anderson, who signed with the Cardinals as a free agent before the 2010 season.
His past two seasons he was a backup in Houston, where he suffered a season-ending collarbone injury in his only start last year. Earlier this offseason the Texans decided to release him.
This could be bad news for Terrelle Pryor, however. It will either benefit him by providing added motivation to work harder, reach his full potential and prove his doubters wrong or cause him to put his head down and/or become a distraction.