Leinart falls flat in Arizona

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

Matt Leinart's days in Arizona aren't numbered, they're over.

The former glamour boy quarterback of the USC Trojans has been a colossal flop since being drafted by the Cardinals and there are numerous reports that they are frantically attempting to deal him.

The Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders and New York Giants are all said to have had discussions with the Cardinals but as soon as they have been identified they have all denied any involvement.

Leinart was the clear front-runner to regain the No. 1 job after the retirement of Kurt Warner but the former first-round pick has not impressed coach Ken Whisenhunt either with his play, or more importantly, what is perceived to be a sour attitude and lack of leadership.

Leinart didn't help his cause any earlier in the week when he went whining to the media after he was demoted behind retread Derek Anderson.

"I think this goes beyond the football field," he said. "I've done everything they've asked of me and more, outplaying the competition in training camp and pre-season.

"Obviously there's something that's going on; I don't know what it is."

What's going on is the fact the Cardinals are running him out of town even though he has had the better pre-season stats.

In three pre-season games, Leinart completed 82.6% of his passes and has a passer rating of 110.2 with no turnovers.

Anderson, meanwhile, has completed 58.5% of his passes with two interceptions and a passer rating of 70.2.

But apparently that's good enough for Whisenhunt, who says he has no personal grudge against Leinart.

"I don't know where that comes from," Whisenhunt said. "It's not about whether you like somebody or you don't like somebody. It's more about what you feel is right for the team."

And that's not Leinart as their quarterback.

It's clear that for Leinart to succeed he needs a fresh start and a change of scenery. It may turn out to be the wakeup call he needs.

Slammer time

Plaxico Burress apparently isn't getting a Get Out Of Jail Free card.

The former New York Giants wide receiver and failed marksman had his application for an early work release from prison denied for a second time by the New York State Department of Correctional Services.

Even though Burress can appeal the decision, he cannot reapply for the program until June of 2011.

Burress has been in prison since September of 2009 when he received a two-year sentence after pleading guilty to gun possession charges following an incident in a nightclub where he accidently shot himself in his thigh.

In doing so, Burress has put a bullet through what was once a lucrative NFL career. By the time he will be able to return to the NFL he will have been out of the game almost three years and will be 34 years of age, which is an uphill battle right there.

And it has been costly as well as his conviction and imprisonment denied him the chance to earn $27 million US of the five-year, $35 million contract he signed with the Giants in September of 2008. The team subsequently cut him in April of 2009.

In his final season with the Giants, Burress caught 70 passes for 1,025 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Quick hits

The Vikings made it official as they placed Pro Bowl wide receiver Sidney Rice on the reserve/physically unable to perform (PUP), which will knock him out for the first six weeks of the regular season. Rice had hip surgery last week in Colorado. Last season, Rice was the chief target for QB Brett Favre as he caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns ... Albert Haynesworth has made a lot of noise for all the wrong reasons in his running battle with coach Mike Shanahan and the Washington Redskins. But Thursday in the 'Skins final tuneup, Haynesworth will be one of the few regulars to see action and he's looking forward to it. According to reports, the defensive lineman said he needs to work on his technique as he acclimatizes to Washington's new 3-4 defence. But even with that positive development, more gasoline could be poured on the fire. The NFL Network reports that the Redskins may place Haynesworth on the inactive list for the season opener against Dallas ... The road back to prominence just got steeper for the New England Patriots, who placed their top cornerback, Leigh Bodden, on injured reserve. The Pats secondary was hardly a strong point and the loss of Bodden is big as they don't have capable veterans to replace him. Without adding from the outside, New England will be forced to go with rookie Devin McCourty with second-year pro Darius Butler on the other side. Opposing quarterbacks will be licking their lips.


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