Matt Leinart was one of the league's unsurprising/surprising cuts on Saturday, prompting some ask "why not have Leinart backup Carson Palmer, rather than J.T. O'Sullivan or Jordan Palmer". It's a reasonable question. O'Sullivan and Jordan didn't promote confidence as much as we had liked during the preseason -- even though both quarterbacks played with a supporting cast that's either already released from the team or unlikely to play when either quarterback replaces Carson if the God of Golden Arms goes down to injury.
However, you always want to investigate any avenue that makes your team better, right? In truth, it's questionable if Leinart's career is that much better than O'Sullivan's, with Leinart's career passer rating 0.9 points higher, doubling O'Sullivan's playing time.
During Leinart's rookie year in 2006, the quarterback completed 56.8% of his passes, recording an 11/12 touchdown to interception ratios for a 74.0 passer rating -- a career high with a minimum of 100 passes. His leading receivers were Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. This would be the last time he'd start more than five games in a season. Alternatively, 2008 was J.T. O'Sullivan's lone season in which he made a start, taking the held of San Francisco's offense. Much like Leinart, he recorded a 73.6 passer rating; a career high. O'Sullivan's leading receivers that year were Isaac Bruce and Bryant Johnson.
To be honest, it's debatable who has had the better career and it's debatable if Leinart would be a better option than O'Sullivan.
Regardless, according to Joe Reedy, the Bengals are one of five teams "making a run" for the Leinart. However Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio writes that if the Bengals do have interest in Leinart, then they haven't made their interest known.
In other Leinart opinion, Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole rips into Leinart, writing:
Leinart’s pretty-boy attitude has worn thin after four years in the NFL. Instead of grinding it out to learn his profession and earn his position, Leinart has lived his working life as if he were getting ready for an audition on ”Entourage.”
”He’s all-L.A.,” one teammate said sarcastically during training camp. The mocking grew as the player went on. ”Dude, he’s so down with the scene.”
The problem is that Leinart wasn’t so down with his teammates. The belief is that every time something got hard, Leinart folded. He is the anti-Kurt Warner(notes), a guy who worked his way from stock boy to NFL MVP.