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Published:August 9th, 2006 15:35 EST
Where is Matt Leinart?

Where is Matt Leinart?

By Lonny Stewart

It`s been a week and half since training camp has started for the Arizona Cardinals, but their prized draft pick, quarterback Matt Leinart, is in the midst of a contract holdout and has not reported to training camp

Leinart is the only remaining first round draft pick that has not signed with his respective team. While his agents and the team claim to be close to working out a deal, the truth remains that head coach Dennis Green is disappointed by Leinart`s decision to not join the team`s practices. "I`m very surprised," Green said. "I just didn`t think you`d have holdouts that would last this long the way contracts are done right now."

The primary conflict lies in reconciling the ideas of Matt Leinart`s feelings of what his services are worth financially, and what team officials feel that he`s worth financially. Team officials feel that because Leinart was the 10th overall pick, and not the first, he doesn`t deserve the money that has been handed to Mario Williams, Reggie Bush and Vince Young. Leinart feels that he is worth top dollar, considering that he is one of the winningest quarterbacks in college football history, and a Heisman Trophy winner.

Leinart had the chance to go pro last year, and if he had chose to, it`s likely the San Francisco 49ers would have selected him first overall instead of choosing Alex Smith. But since Leinart decided to come back to USC for his senior year and accomplish what no other college quarterback has accomplished - winning three straight national championships, - Leinart was aware that he was endangering his chance at being selected first overall due to rival Quarterback Vince Young and teammate Reggie Bush`s inclination to exit a year early for the NFL. When draft time came around, those fears came true. Nine players went before him, including Young and Bush.

Some feel that this may damage Leinart`s credibility as a team player. It certainly appears negative to fans that are patiently waiting to see Leinart in camp. In the meantime, John Navarre will be the backup for Kurt Warner until Leinart shows up in camp.