Connecting the dots, if Pro Football Talk had a report that the Cardinals were interested in Arizona boy Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bills are looking into Matt Leinart, then they may have an edge on the other teams mentioning in Schefter’s report, the Raiders and the Giants.
Yet the reliable Chris Brown of BuffaloBills.com reports that Schefter’s report is erroneous, which genuinely means he’s been told such a thing. However, let’s assume the Bills are playing it close to the vest and proceed.
The trade makes more sense for the Buddy Nix’s Bills and the Giants than Oakland. Sure, the Raiders would be putting Leinart in his old USC haunt, but Jason Campbell is not only an investment they’ve made, but a more proven commodity. Out in New York, he’d be no more than insurance for Eli Manning, but the Giants have Jim Sorgi and Rhett Bomar backing up their prized quarterback. Would Leinart be better?
Forget better than Sorgi and Bomar, how about Edwards and Fitzpatrick. Sure, Leinart hasn’t ever been “handed the keys,” but numbers are numbers.
Edwards- 32G, 29GS*, 61.3 comp, 5498 yards, 24 TD, 25 INT, 77.9 rating
Fitzpatrick-28G, 24GS*, 57.8 comp, 4104 yards, 21 TD, 27 INT, 67.7 rating
Leinart – 29G, 15GS*, 57.1 comp, 3893 yards, 14 TD, 20 INT, 70.8 rating
*In our case, we used games of significance (GS) rather than games started, because Edwards coming in for J.P. Losman against the Patriots isn’t a game started, but he played a ton of it. The feeling is that will average out with the games in which a player is injured early.
There are reasons to try out Leinart, and reasons not to. One of the latter may be PR. Sure, the new guy in town is always a sexy move, but the first time he struggles you’ll see blue collar fans pointing out that when you do a Google Image search on the quarterback you’ll find way more pictures of Matt partying than Matt starting. Not only that, for some reason the media makes a bigger deal out of white athletes illegitimate children than other races, so you’ll hear a lot about Brynn Cameron and their child support woes/battle.
It does seem unfair that a guy that does this in his mid-twenties (which not many do)…
… gets more press for doing this in his mid-twenties (which many do).
Then again, Leinart’s only season with significant playing time was better than Edwards’ first campaign, so perhaps Chan Gailey can do something with the hunk. In two more games, Leinart threw for 900 more yards, four more touchdowns and four more interceptions. Leinart has two years left on his rookie deal, which pays $5 million in each of the next two seasons, so there is more time to evaluate. Edwards, as well as Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm, would be free agents after the season. A big issue regardless is that Leinart doesn’t have a super strong arm, and Ralph Wilson Stadium has super strong winds. Seems reason enough to avoid the move altogether.
So, I wouldn’t be totally against the move since this season is a “feeling out” situation in most fans’ minds. Although, if Gailey is really trying to give Edwards one more kick at the can, then it wouldn’t be right to shake up what is right now a perfectly content camp that No. 5 is their best option… at least from what we’ve heard so far.