Free agent quarterback Jeff Garcia has landed with the Raiders. The two parties have agreed to a contract.
After a four-team, five-season odyssey since leaving the San Francisco 49ers, Jeff Garcia finally found his way back home to the Bay Area -- albeit on the other side from where he started.
The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback joined the Oakland Raiders on Monday, with the 39-year-old passer agreeing to a one-year deal to be JaMarcus Russell's backup.
Garcia, who will be paid more than the league minimum by Oakland, is a native of Gilroy, Calif., just south of San Jose. Although several teams had interest in Garcia as a backup, he chose the Raiders for the chance to continue his career close to home with a familiar coaching staff, including passing game coordinator Ted Tollner, a former 49ers assistant.
A lot of people think Rex Ryan's public vote of confidence in his unproven quarterbacks is only posturing. The fact the Jets did not seem to have even passing interest in Garcia suggests otherwise. It might have been a mistake. Had Garcia been seeking a guaranteed starting job, things would have been different. The Jets could be excused for passing on a one year stopgap in his late 30's. Been there. Done that.
Garcia apparently was willing to take a backup role at the league minimum. He would have provided great insurance for this team in case none of the Clemens, Ratliff, Ainge trio was to pan out. Brian Schottenheimer designed an offense around the strengths of Chad Pennington, and Garcia has similar qualities, namely accuracy in the short passing game. The Jets obviously want one of the youngsters to emerge as a longterm answer, but Garcia would have given the club a better chance at competing in the present if that does not happen in 2009. Maybe he wanted to go back to the Bay Area no matter what, but it is somewhat surprising the Jets did not even give him a look.