Matt Leinart won’t play for Seahawks after all

In a prime example of how free-agency moves this week are not etched in stone, quarterback Matt Leinart has decided not to rejoin Pete Carroll in Seattle — a deal that couldn’t be signed until Friday — and instead will stay with the Houston Texans.

According to individuals with knowledge of the negotiations, Leinart had agreed to terms with the Seahawks on Tuesday and intended to be reunited with Carroll, his coach at USC, believing his only quarterback competition would have been Charlie Whitehurst.

However, the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that Leinart was bothered to learn that Seattle subsequently agreed to terms with former Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, Brett Favre’s backup with the Vikings. In Minnesota, Jackson played under offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who now has that job in Seattle, so the quarterback is very familiar with the offensive system.

According to the Chronicle, Leinart changed his mind once Jackson agreed to a deal with Seattle. The newspaper also reported Leinart told Texans Coach Gary Kubiak that he wanted to sign with a team that would give him a chance to start. That’s not immediately likely in Houston, which has a starting quarterback in Matt Schaub.


Leinart acknowledged the deal via his Twitter account.

“I am excited to be a Texan,” Leinart wrote. “Ultimately, I had to do what was best for me at this point. People can question the decision, but it was the right one for me. I love the organization, coaching staff and my teammates. Excited to get back to Reliant tomorrow and get back to work.”