The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have informed QB Jeff Garcia that he won’t return to the team.
The move was expected after the Bucs recently gave backup QB Luke McCown a two-year, $7.4 million contract.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik told Garcia’s agent, Steve Baker, that the team had no plans of bringing back the 10-year NFL veteran, the Tampa Tribune reported. Garcia told the Tribune that he was disappointed but ready to move on with his career.
- “I’m not under contract and I’m about to hit free agency and that means it’s time again for me to just move on,” Garcia said. “It is disappointing because I enjoyed the atmosphere and the team environment in that locker room. … Change is needed at times. Sometimes it’s how you tweak it, not change it. With a new head coach, they want somebody pulling the trigger that they can mold. Beyond that, I don’t know why they’re making the move.”
Garcia started 11 games in a season that the Bucs started 9-3 before dropping their final four games to miss out on the playoffs. Garcia threw 12 touchdowns and six interceptions, but the team’s late-season collapse cost head coach Jon Gruden and GM Bruce Allen their jobs.
Garcia went 14-10 in 24 starts with the Bucs over the past two seasons, which included a Pro Bowl appearance and playoff berth in 2007. Garcia, who turns 39 on Feb. 24, told the Tampa Tribune that he wants to continue his career with another team.
- “I do feel like I have football life in me,” Garcia said. “I feel I can still contribute. I’m not sure what my role will be with another team. I’m not looking at it like I need to start and be the man. … Hopefully, I’ll have some opportunities out there. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be something out there for me.”