Per Joe Reedy at Cincinnati.com, our speculated Bengal interest in former Cardinal QB Matt Leinart is apparently confirmed:
Per multiple league sources, the Bengals are one of five teams who are in the running for former Arizona QB Matt Leinart. The others who have expressed interest are others that have some backup problems as well — Houston, Buffalo, New Orleans and Jacksonville. For those thinking that Seattle was a logical landing spot, Clark Judge of CBSsports.com is reporting that the Seahawks do not have any interest.
Knowing the Bengals penchant for taking a chance, this one makes a ton of sense. No word as of yet if they have an interest in Troy Smith, who was released by Baltimore earlier today.
A pairing with Leinart would make sense for Cincinnati, as the team cannot feel confident at the back-up spot with J.T. O’Sullivan looking pedestrian at best and Jordan Palmer still getting experience.
Leinart and Carson Palmer are good friends from their days together at USC, both winning the Heisman Trophy during their time in Los Angeles. With Carson’s injury history (knee, elbow, thumb), the team must be prepared for eventualities.
Some of the other teams listed might be more attractive, though, with the potential for Leinart to regain a starting job might be possible in Jacksonville or Buffalo.
As for Troy Smith, he’d be attractive to the Bengals as a former OSU guy, and having spent the last few years with a division rival. Smith became expendable for the Ravens thanks to the signing of Marc Bulger earlier this year. I campaigned for the Bengals to bring Bulger in for a look back then, but apparently the team had no interest.