Garcia hints at retirement

Jeff Garcia (AP Photo)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jeff Garcia is searching for whatever leverage he can in seeking a new contract. But this week, he told a radio host that he could retire after this season.

Jeff Garcia is at it again.

The Bucs quarterback has complained loudly about his dissatisfaction over the lack of progress on a new contact. He has one year left on his deal that will pay him a $2 million base salary.

But recently, Garcia took his displeasure to a new level. During an interview on NFL radio, he hinted that he might consider retiring at the end of the 2008 season.

"It would be really difficult for me to go through the season and not have something done," Garcia said. "I would really like to see the appreciation put out there.

"For me to go into this season and if it doesn't work itself out, if a contract is not presented as far as a renewal and a chance to finish my career here, then I will seriously think about ... what my alternate options may be. It may come to not even playing football anymore. And I'd hate to even say that, but I feel like when you mistreat people there comes a time when it doesn't matter how much money you're going to be paid.

"If you're not being treated the right way it's going to lead to some drastic decisions and those decisions may just take me away from the game."

Garcia, 38, is coming off a Pro Bowl season. But he is not the team's quarterback of the future. In fact, his kamikaze style of play makes it unlikely he could go wire-to-wire as a starter.

That's why Tampa Bay traded for Brian Griese. He will compete with Luke McCown, who went 1-3 as a starter last season. The Bucs are expected to keep four quarterbacks, including fifth-round choice Josh Johnson.

Garcia has not missed a day of the offseason program and will report to training camp. He might be greedy, but he's not stupid. He knows he won't have many more chances to start in this league. Only he can decide if this year will be his last.

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