Matt Leinart was once on top of the world. Matt Leinart Net Worth, The Southern California quarterback won the Heisman Trophy in 2004, led the Trojans to a national championship, and was anointed as the next big thing in the NFL. But it all came crashing down. Injuries, poor play, and bad decisions derailed Leinart’s pro career, and by 2012 he was out of the league for good. He filed for bankruptcy in 2016, with reported debts of over $5 million. So, how did it all go wrong?
In 2004, Matt Leinart won the Heisman Trophy as a junior at USC. He was one of college football’s brightest stars and was widely expected to be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. However, Leinart opted to return to USC for his senior season. The Trojans went undefeated and won the national championship, but Leinart’s draft stock took a hit. He fell to 10th overall, where he was selected by the Arizona Cardinals.
Leinart struggled during his two years as Arizona’s starting quarterback, completing just 54 percent of his passes with 15 interceptions and only 11 touchdown passes. In 2007, he was replaced by veteran Kurt Warner and never regained his starting job. After being released by Arizona in 2010, he had brief stints with Houston and Oakland before being out of the NFL for good by 2012.
Leinart’s personal life also spiraled out of control after he left USC. He fathered children with multiple women out of wedlock and developed a reputation as a party animal. In 2010, he was arrested for public intoxication after passing out drunk in a pizza parlor. It was all downhill from there; by 2016, he had amassed over $5 million in debt and filed for bankruptcy protection.
Matt Leinart is a cautionary tale about what can happen when you don’t live up to your potential. Once considered one of the best quarterbacks in college football history, Leinart’s NFL career fizzled due to injuries, poor play, bad decisions off the field, and general apathy towards the game of football. Today, he is bankrupt and largely forgotten by casual fans of the sport. It’s a sad story—but one that serves as an important reminder that even those blessed with great talent can squander it if they’re not careful.