Garcia won't discount a return to Stamps

CALGARY — Jeff Garcia is on his way to Calgary Wednesday where his football future will likely be decided.

No, the 40-year-old free agent isn’t here to talk contract with the Stampeders or join former teammate Dave Dickenson in the coaching ranks.

He’s here to speak at Thursday night’s University of Calgary Dinos Fifth Quarter Dinner at precisely the same time the NFL Draft gets underway. And by the time he finishes a speech that will touch on his improbable journey through two countries, seven teams and 16 years of pro football, the playing fate of the former Stamps quarterback may very well be sealed based on who drafts who down south.

“I definitely still want to play,? said Garcia from his home 30 minutes outside San Diego, where his wife and two kids decided a year ago to set down roots.

“There’s been some interest expressed from teams around the league, but I think a lot depends on the draft and whether certain teams make trades or stand pat. It’s just a matter of somebody pulling the trigger and offering me a contract. If anything happens, it should happen in the next week or two.?

One of the teams that has expressed interest is the Buffalo Bills — a possibility that has Garcia intrigued given the fact the team’s recently hired quarterback coach was Garcia’s offensive coordinator in Calgary in 1998.

“That’s definitely a possibility because George (Cortez) has that knowledge of me and what I’m capable of and what I can bring to a team,? said the four-time Pro Bowler and four-time CFL all-star, who said the rumoured possibility of signing with the New York Giants fizzled months back.

“There’s also been talk of returning to Philadelphia, where I could come in and help a young (Eagles) quarterback (Kevin Kolb). (The) St. Louis (Rams) expressed interest and are in a position where they’ll probably draft a quarterback, but they’ll need someone to step up and be a true starter.?

Garcia signed with the Oakland Raiders last year but asked for his release late in camp due to concerns he had about the team’s dysfunctional locker room and the prospect of backing up JaMarcus Russell. A Week 1 injury to Donovan McNabb led him to re-sign with the Eagles only to be released weeks later when Michael Vick was cleared to play. He spent the rest of the year hoping for another shot.

What the 650 people who will gather at Hotel Arts for the football fundraiser would most like to hear tomorrow is if Garcia would consider ending his pro career where it started — in Calgary.

“The thought has crossed my mind,? said Garcia, who took over Doug Flutie’s gig in 1995 and gave Henry Burris the nickname ‘Smilin’ Hank’ in ’98 before using Grey Cup MVP honours to sign with the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers.

“I would love to have the opportunity to return to Calgary and play in the CFL,? Garcia said. “I don’t know if it’s realistic, but it definitely would be tempting. I had a great experience there, and that game suits me.

“I couldn’t completely rule it out. I think I still remember that offence better than most I played under in the NFL.?

Ironically, it was an offence designed by current Stamps head coach John Hufnagel the first four years of Garcia’s career here.

That said he wouldn’t come here at the expense of his pal Burris, nor would he consider any other CFL offer.

While calling it “a very frustrating, empty feeling? to watch the NFL from afar last season, Garcia took solace in being able to spend time with daughter Presley, nearly two, and son Jason, nearly one. His wife, Carmella DeCesare of Playboy Playmate fame —with whom he’ll celebrate his third anniversary here today — is expecting their third child this fall.

“We’re building a football team,? joked the affable Garcia, who is also considering the possibility of a broadcasting or coaching career.

“If we got all the way to the NFL season and I was unsigned, I guess I’d need to see the writing on the wall and it would be best for me to appreciate what I’ve experienced and accomplished, move on to other parts of my life and not just continue to hang onto something that may not be a reality for me any more. If so, I will be ready to accept it.?

Until then, one of the grittiest players in Stamps history will continue battling the odds to try making something else happen, which has always been what he does bes

...thanks for finding that article and posting it here Mark...Garcia finsihing his career here? something to ponder that's for sure, I for one would like to see that...

If Garcia finishes his career in Calgary, maybe you could LOAN Burris to the Riders for a season or two.

:lol: :lol:

Did I actually say that with a straight face?

Actually, that could work. I recall when Calgary plays at Taylor field the crowd chant's "Henry, Henry". So, I see it as a win win for both fans! :wink: :wink: :wink:

why on earth would he sign with the UFL? if he would have come here, he could have finished his career with an amazing team that has a geat chance at a championship. maybe he thinx the cfl is beneath him now.

It would be great for Garcia to have another try-out all the same if really he is game so we can find out right, but I think he's just parking in the UFL because perhaps it would be easier contractually to move from UFL to NFL than from CFL to NFL mid-season would it not?

I saw Garcia play in the NFL with the Eagles at away game in November 2006 when he was just replacing McNabb, and he was excellent with the West Coast offence he ran in Philadelphia.

Also Garcia never got the credit in Philadelphia or San Francisco that he deserved, for in those days in Philly through about 2008 thanks to Rush Limbaugh no one could say anything negative about McNabb even when merited, and in the playoffs against the Saints back in January 2007 the Eagles got robbed due to another Saints Katrina Sympathy call.

When Fox ran the replay to check the false start penalty, no way was that close to a correct call.

How I wish more folks were on blogs back then so we could re-hash it too or check the video again.

If Garcia can play in the CFL as well as can ex-NFLer Lemon now in most of his games, he ought go back to the CFL.

For sake of the NFL, like other past NFL quarterbacks such as Warner and Roethlisberger, Garcia's only good in a particular system as for Garcia is the West Coast aka "chuck-and-duck out of the pro-set" in American football.

Only the 49ers and Eagles use that offence some of the time now respectively from what I can tell, and the 49ers have yet to show much offence this year so far anyway.

when it was obvious that flutie was unhappy in Calgary, and was basicly on his way to toronto, it was awesome having garcia come in and take over. he made it a lot of fun to watch. a person wonders if he had stayed in the CFL if he would have been considered greater then flutie. then after that we had dave D come in. at one time, it was flutie, garcia and Dave D as the one two three. that was rad. then Ben sanky came in later. all of wich got NFL time. As did Burris. So some great QB history created by the great Wally B.