Garcia Lands in Tampa Bay

By Bryan Jeon

The highly-coveted free agent quarterback on the market this offseason in Jeff Garcia has found a new team. Just one day after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were unable to obtain Jake Plummer from the Denver Broncos, who said he would rather retire than relocate, Garcia signed with the Bucs for a reported $5 million a year, with terms of the deal not yet available. Garcia will have an opportunity to compete for the starting job in a relatively weak QB corps, including Chris Simms and backups Bruce Gradkowski and Tim Rattay.

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay moved to complete the deal with Plummer so he would not be able to play for another team. If he does decide to play however, the Bucs will need to pick up his salary of $5.3 million next year.

Garcia, who was 5-1 last year and had a playoff win in replace of Donovan McNabb when he went down with a torn knee ligament, was eyeing a spot on the Oakland Raiders roster but after Plummer’s supposed retirement, he made the move to work with head coach, Jon Gruden and the Bucs.

The Bucs finished with one of the worst records last year at 4-12, with only the Detroit Lions having a worse record (3-13) in the NFC.

In another signing around the NFL, the St. Louis Rams have agreed to a 6-year, $30 million contract with Drew Bennett. Bennett, who played with the Tennessee Titans last year, will make $9.7 million, including bonuses, in 2007 to fill Kevin Curtis‘s spot as backup to Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. He started alongside David Givens last year, racking up a monstrous 46 receptions for 737 yards and 3 TD’s. (Note the sarcasm in another ridiculous yet all-too-common athlete signing).

In a much worse incident of the case of Desperate Teams Overpaying for Players, we only need to look as far as today to see another frustrating occurrence in Nate Clements. Can the San Francisco 49ers be any stupider in making a guy the highest-paid defender when as a 6 year vet, his career high was only 6 interceptions and he had just 3 this past season? They also made a terrible mistake in giving him 8 years (for $80 million) at the age of 27. Not a smart move in any part of the deal by the 49ers organization. Just to be an ass, I would hold out if I were Champ Bailey (10 INT last year), being far superior in every aspect thus far upon juxtaposing the two’s careers.

Image courtesy of AP Photo.


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