Tuesday, August 01, 2006

NFL's Adam Schefter: Matt Leinart Still Unsigned - Returns to Cali..In Private Jet?

Read this carefully -- Leinart has his own private jet from what this reads. Am I wrong about that? It says "One person spotted Leinart exiting his plane in the Orange County Airport, a long way away from Cardinals training camp."

Bush and Leinart in a role reversal

By Adam Schefter - Special to NFL.com

Adam Schefter's "Around the League" reports and commentaries can be seen regularly on NFL Total Access.

(July 31, 2006) -- By Aug. 1, we already have our first significant upset of the football season.

Running back Reggie Bush is in training camp before his former college teammate, quarterback Matt Leinart.

Because Reggie Bush stayed out for so long, the other RBs got more reps.
For weeks, Bush was expected to be the training camp holdout and Leinart was expected to be the happy camper. Now, Bush is the happy camper and Leinart is the training camp holdout.

Bush signed a six-year, $51 million contract that included $26.35 million worth of guaranteed money, according to one source close to the deal. He was scheduled to arrive in Jackson, Miss., on July 31 and begin practicing with the Saints the next day. The deal, notably, makes Bush the highest-paid running back in football history, earning more than LaDainian Tomlinson or Shaun Alexander.

Yet even though the deal is done, the Saints were not entirely celebrating. Bush missed seven practices and missed any potential flights Sunday to tend to personal business he did not wrap up until Monday. The Saints were disappointed Bush did not get in sooner. But they should forget the first time Bush wraps his hands around the football and takes off the way he regularly did at USC.

At USC, it was Leinart that was getting Bush the football. But now Leinart isn't getting what he wants, so much so that on Sunday night, Leinart decided to up and leave Arizona to fly back to Southern California. One person spotted Leinart exiting his plane in the Orange County Airport, a long way away from Cardinals training camp.

Still, both sides are optimistic that they will be able to reach a deal before the week is through. But it certainly doesn't seem as if there will be any breakthrough in the next 24 hours.

Leinart's contract should be easy enough to figure. The players drafted directly in front of and behind him, linebacker Ernie Sims in Detroit and quarterback Jay Cutler in Denver, have signed. Yet Leinart apparently is seeking more money than the No. 10 overall pick typically has been paid. So far, no go.

Leinart spent much of last week in Arizona, working out, training and throwing. But now, for the time being, Leinart will be doing his work in Southern California. All while waiting to get the call to fly back to Arizona.