The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made it official, stating they do not want Jeff Garcia as their quarterback in 2009.
Bucs general manager Mark Dominik told Garcia’s agent, Steve Barker, Sunday night that the team doesn’t want Garcia to return for a third season, according to a St. Petersburg Times report.
“My time in Tampa has come to an end,” Garcia told the newspaper. “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.”
The Bucs signed quarterback Luke McCown to a two-year, $7.5-millon contract last week.
Garcia, along with fired coach Jon Gruden and general manager Bruce Allen, are taking the brunt of the responsibility for the Bucs failing to make the playoffs after Tampa Bay dropped its final four games of the ’08 regular season.
Garcia went 14-10 in 24 starts during the regular season with Tampa Bay the past two seasons. He has been in the NFL for 11 years, spending most of his early pro career with the San Francisco 49ers (1999-2003).
The 38-year-old quarterback told the newspaper that he believes he’ll get another opportunity when the free-agent signing period begins February 27.
“I do feel like I have football life in me,” Garcia said. “…I’m pretty sure there’s going to be something out there for me. … I had a great time playing in front of those fans in Tampa. We’ll miss Tampa.”