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Arizona Cardinals release Matt Leinart

September 4, 2010 | 11:33 am


Matt Leinart's star-crossed NFL career took another turn for the worse Saturday when the former USC quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner was released by the Arizona Cardinals.

Arizona Coach Ken Whisenhunt called Leinart with the news this morning, Leinart's agent Chuck Price said.

Playing four seasons in Arizona, Leinart started 11 games as a rookie in 2006 but suffered a broken collarbone the following season and lost his spot to veteran Kurt Warner.

With Warner now retired, Leinart spent much of training camp at No. 1 on the depth chart before unexpectedly slipping below Derek Anderson in late August.

Asked what he was looking for with the change, Whisenhunt replied briefly: "First downs."

At the time, Leinart seemed mystified by the demotion.

"I don't really know what else I could possibly do," he told the Associated Press. "It probably goes beyond football, beyond the field actually. For me, I am not making excuses. I am not going to complain. For me, I just really want an explanation and I haven't been given one."

Leinart, who played sparingly in the preseason, completing 78% of his passes for one touchdown and no interceptions, was not available for comment Saturday.

He was scheduled to return home to Los Angeles and consider his next move.

-- David Wharton

Photo: Quarterback Matt Leinart delivers a pass in the preseason for the Arizona Cardinals. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images