According to Dan Pompei of the National Football Post, it "would almost be an upset" if the Seattle Seahawks didn't sign quarterback Matt Leinart in free agency.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Leinart was the 10th overall pick of the 2006 NFL Draft after his Heisman Trophy winning career playing for Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll at USC. A three-year starter for the Trojans, the left-handed Leinart completed 64.8% of his 1,245 pass attempts for 10,693 yards with 99 touchdowns and 23 interceptions.
In his five seasons in the NFL, the first spent with the Arizona Cardinals, Leinart is 340-of-595 for 3,893 yards with 14 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. Released by the Cardinals last September, Leinart spent the 2010 season as the No. 3, "emergency" quarterback with the Houston Texans.
Charlie Whitehurst is the only quarterback the Seahawks' have under contract for 2011. Whitehurst is due $4 million in non-guaranteed base salary, did not "wow" anyone in his first season in Seattle, and is unsigned beyond this season, making it likely that up to three quarterbacks will be added before the Seahawks open training camp.
Prior to the lockout, the Seahawks attempted to re-sign veteran Matt Hasselbeck, who turned down an offer that ESPN's John Clayton reports was worth $7 million for one season. The Seahawks reached out to Hasselbeck during the brief period in late April the lockout was lifted, and are expected to make another run at re-signing the 35-year-old when the 2011 league year officially begins.
It's easy to envision a scenario where the Seahawks could up their offer to Hasselbeck (two years, $15-18 million could get the job done), sign Leinart (who, like Hasselbeck, is represented by David Dunn) to compete with Whitehurst for the No. 2 job, and bring in an undrafted rookie or street free agent to develop on the practice squad. Like their 31 counterparts, the Seahwks will be a very busy front office when the lockout ends.