Matthew Stephen Leinart (born May 11, 1983), is an American professional football quarterback for the Houston Texans of the National Football League. Leinart previously played for four seasons (2006–2009) with the Arizona Cardinals, largely in a backup role to the now-retired Kurt Warner, before being released on September 4, 2010.
Leinart played collegially at the University of Southern California. In 2004, he led the Trojans to the BCS national championship and was named that year's winner of the Heisman Trophy as well as the winner of the inaugural Manning Award, which is awarded to the country's top quarterback. The championship was vacated by the BCS on June 6, 2011.
The left-handed passing Leinart was selected tenth overall in the 2006 NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Despite possessing what draft experts believed was a good frame for a quarterback (6'-5”, 230 pounds), they believed his lack of a strong throwing arm, such as that possessed by his predecessor, Carson Palmer (now with the Cincinnati Bengals), would be a detriment in his professional career.