Texans to cut Leinart on Tuesday

Houston Texans Matt Leinart
Matt Leinart played in only two games in two years with Houston.
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Nancy Gay

Nancy Gay is the Senior NFL Editor at She has been covering the NFL and other major sports for more than two decades. The first female member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, Nancy also is an Associated Press All-Pro selector. She has covered 20 Super Bowls. Follow her on Twitter @nancygay.


Matt Leinart’s NFL free fall continues.


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The Houston Texans will officially part ways with the former USC quarterback on Tuesday, ending a disappointing two-year career that saw him play in only two games there.

The 2004 Heisman Trophy winner, who was released by the Arizona Cardinals at the end of the 2010 preseason, made his first appearance for Houston in Week 10 last season in relief of an injured Matt Schaub. Leinart was named the starter when Schaub was diagnosed with a season-ending foot fracture during the Texans' bye week. But his career as a No. 1 didn't last very long — Leinart injured his shoulder in the Week 12 game against Jacksonville on Nov. 27 and was out for the year.

That opened the door for promising rookie T.J. Yates, who started the final six games for the Texans, completing 61 percent of his passes with three touchdowns, three interceptions and four fumbles. Yates became the Texans’ third starting quarterback in three games last season, but now appears to be a solid No. 2 behind Schaub.

The Texans are sticking with Schaub in 2012, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday, and will not pursue free agent Peyton Manning.

Leinart, 28, was the 10th overall pick of the Cardinals in the 2006 NFL Draft and was tabbed to be the franchise’s starter. But he lost his job to veteran Kurt Warner in Arizona because of inconsistent play.

Tagged: Cardinals, Texans, Matt Schaub, Matt Leinart

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