Where there is a limited market presently for a 35-year-old quarterback, Jeff Garcia's name has been mentioned in numerous league circles at the combine in Indianapolis this past week. As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Atlanta Falcons, Arizona Cardinals, and Detroit Lions have been mentioned as suitors for the veteran signal-caller, the Lions may be the best destination for the West Coast offense product.
As was the case during the free agent player signing period last year, Garcia received interest from the Buccaneers, using that interest to receive a substantially larger offer from the quarterback-deficient Browns. Despite not intending to run the West Coast offense in Cleveland, the Browns signed the veteran in hopes he could fit within the team's questionable and unstructured offense.
From the onset, the Browns and Garcia did not mesh, much like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Garcia has been aggressive and prompt in getting a deal in place prior to the free agency period, when further quarterbacks would become options for needy clubs. Where a match made in heaven could be in the works is between the Lions and Garcia.
Garcia was successful as a member of the San Francisco 49ers while current Lions head coach Steve Mariucci was the head coach in San Francisco. Ironic as it may appear, Mariucci has struggled in Detroit, and the quarterback position is one under fire due to a lack of consistency.
According to league sources, the Lions spoke at length with Garcia and expressed a serious interest in the veteran. As discussions continued, Garcia underwent a physical at the request of the Lions staff, due to questions and concerns with a shoulder and knee injury suffered late last season in Cleveland.
Results of the physical conclude Garcia is a candidate to sign with the Lions, if terms of a contract can be completed. Presently, the Lions are looking at Garcia as a backup to Joey Harrington, with the notion of opportunity if it would present itself.
The Detroit front office is not looking to add fuel to the fire that the team is unsettled on Harrington, but adding Garcia to the roster could be a tell-tale sign the team expects more than average results in the 2005 season.
Jeff Garcia deal forthcoming
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