As the offseason begins, Gang Green Nation will take a look at potential ways to improve the club. Today we will explore signing Jeff Garcia.
Profile: Garcia began his professional career in Canada. He took over for CFL legend Doug Flutie as Calgary Stampeders starting quarterback and led the team to a 1998 Grey Cup title. Garcia was the game's MVP. After that, he headed south and became the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers after Steve Young suffered a career-ending concussion early in 1999. The following year, he made the first of three consecutive Pro Bowl teams. He led San Francisco to the Playoffs twice, including a division title before the team cut him following the 2003 season.
After a pair of disastrous years with hopeless franchises in Cleveland and Detroit, Garcia signed with the Eagles prior to the 2006 season to serve as Donovan McNabb's backup. When McNabb tore his ACL in November, Garcia led Philly to five straight wins to finish the year, resulting in an NFC East title. He signed with Tampa Bay prior to the 2007 season and won an NFC South championship in his first year down there, during which he made the Pro Bowl once again. Things seemed to sour in Tampa Bay before the 2008 season as Garcia expressed displeasure with his contract, and the Bucs openly sought a trade for Brett Favre. Tampa Bay finished a disappointing 9-7 this year and fired Jon Gruden at least partially because he used a Band Aid approach at quarterback for years. The 38 year old is not a long-term solution at quarterback, and the team will likely look in a different direction.
Jeff's success through the years has come primarily in the West Coast Offense. His above average mobility keeps plays alive and gives defenses something extra for which to account. While he lacks great arm strength, he makes up for it with above average accuracy. Garcia has hit 61.6 percent of passes in his career.
Why It Makes Sense: Aside from the two year exile in Cleveland and Detroit, Garcia has made teams better his entire career. Even at his advanced age, he was still effective in 2008, arguably better than Favre, the guy the Bucs were so determined to get so they could replace Garcia.
Odds of Happening: The Jets just took a shot with a 39 year old rental, and it helped get the old coach fired. It does not seem very likely the new coach would do the exact same thing a year later. Signing Garcia would mean coopting Tampa Bay's Band Aid quarterback situation. It would also mean acquiring a quarterback with Chad Pennington's skill set and Brett Favre's age. The Jets need to go in a different direction, not go to the past.