Thu, Aug 17, 2006 - Page 19 News List

Matt Leinart signs for Cardinals

COLLEGE STAR The young quarterback finally put pen to paper on a six-year deal that is likely to make him the fourth-best paid of all this year's NFL draft picks

AFP , FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart looks for a receiver during his first practice at football training camp in Flagstaff, Arizona, on Tuesday.

PHOTO: AP

Matt Leinart, a star collegiate quarterback from Southern California, ended a holdout and signed a six-year National Football League contract with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday.

The 10th overall pick from April's NFL Draft was the lone remaining unsigned first-round selection and could wind up being the fourth-best paid player among those chosen.

"This was especially hard on me because I wanted to be in camp all along," Leinart said. "But that's the business part of the game. Now it's over with and we can put this behind us and move forward."

Leinart signed one day after angry Cardinals coach Dennis Green called the club's offer "more than generous" and implored Leinart to join the club after missing 16 days of training camp and a pre-season game.

"Coach Green was fired up and I understand that," Leinart said. "I didn't take offense to it. All coaches want their players to be in camp."

Leinart will be guaranteed US$14 million, more than the two players taken ahead of him, and with incentive bonus money could receive nearly US$51 million over six years under the deal.

University of Texas star Vince Young, the first quarterback selected and the third overall pick, received a six-year deal from Tennessee with US$25.7 million guaranteed and US$58 million possible.

Young led the Longhorns past Leinart's Trojans in January's US college championship game.

Hours after the remarks, left-hander Leinart agreed to terms with the team and will likely serve behind often-injured Kurt Warner.

Leinart completed almost two-thirds of his passes last season for 3,815 yards and 28 touchdowns with eight interceptions. In his college career, Leinart threw for 99 touchdowns with only 23 picked off.

AFP, MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, the club's top rookie draft selection, will miss the entire 2006 National Football League season with a knee injury, the team announced on Tuesday.

Greenway suffered the left knee injury on Monday in a 16-13 pre-season exhibition loss to Oakland. The 17th overall pick in the draft, Greenway signed a five-year contract worth US$13.25 million.

"The toughest part in this business is dealing with the injuries and this is no different," said Vikings coach Brad Childress. "It's unfortunate because Chad improved during our minicamps and training camp. He did a pretty good job in the plays he was in there for last night and made a big tackle on special teams."

Greenway was expected to compete against Dontarrious Thomas for the starting weakside linebacker spot.

"Chad will evaluate his options in the upcoming weeks and we are confident he will be completely healthy for next season," Childress said. "Chad will have the full time to rehab."

AFP, CINCINNATI, Ohio

Matthias Askew, one of five players on the Cincinnati Bengals to run afoul of the law, was released on Tuesday by the club.

One month after being charged with resisting arrest when police needed a stun gun to arrest him, the defensive tackle became the first of the troubled Bengals to be dropped by the National Football League club.

Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry has been arrested four times since December and is set to stand trial later this month on a gun charge in Florida. Rookies Frostee Rucker and AJ Nicholson were arrested before signing with the Bengals -- Rucker for wife beating and Nicholson for burglary and grand theft.

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