ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Free-agent quarterback Matt Leinart has agreed to sign with the Buffalo Bills, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The Bills confirmed that they had signed Leinart late Sunday afternoon. Later Sunday the Bills confirmed they had traded with the Detroit Lions for quarterback Thaddeus Lewis. The Bills sent linebacker Chris White to the Lions for Lewis.
Leinart will fill an immediate need at Buffalo's injury-depleted quarterback position. Kevin Kolb left the Bills' preseason game Saturday against Washington because of concussion-like symptoms and first-round pick EJ Manuel is out for the rest of the preseason with a left knee injury. Kolb has had at least two other concussions including one major one. He missed playing time in both 2010 and 2011 with concussions.
Leinart, the 2004 Heisman Trophy at Southern California, was drafted by Arizona in the first round in 2006. After four seasons with the Cardinals, he spent 2011 with Houston and last year with Oakland.
Leinart entered the NFL as a first-round (10th overall) draft selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. He has started 18-of-33 games played with stints on the rosters of the Cardinals (2006-09), Houston Texans (2010-11) and Oakland Raiders (2012). The 6-5, 232-pound USC product has completed 366-of-641 passes for 4,065 yards with 15 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in his NFL career. Leinart will wear No. 7.
Lewis spent the 2011-12 seasons on the Practice Squad and 53-man roster of the Cleveland Browns. He started the Browns' 2012 regular season finale against Pittsburgh and completed 22-of-32 passes for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
The 6-2, 219-pound Duke product entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 2010 and was a member of the team's Practice Squad his rookie season.