Garcia open to backup role

Jeff Garcia will be fair game next week when the free-agency signing period begins.

The ex-Eagles quarterback said yesterday he will not be returning to Tampa, where he spent the last two seasons.

"I'm not under contract and I'm about to hit free agency and that means it's time again for me to just move on," Garcia told the St. Petersburg Times.

The Bucs made the playoffs in 2007 before losing in the first round to the Giants.

In 2008, Tampa seemed poised to make the postseason before dropping its final four games. The Bucs' Week 17 loss to the Raiders opened the door for the Eagles to sneak in.

Garcia's done in Tampa, but he's not ready to hang it up completely.

"I do feel like I have football life in me," Garcia said in the article. "I feel I can still contribute. I'm not sure what my role will be with another team. I'm not looking at it like I need to start and be the man. Hopefully, I'll have some opportunities out there. I'm pretty sure there's going to be something out there for me."

He reflected on his time with the Eagles in 2006 when the Birds made a stunning playoff run before falling to the Saints in New Orleans in the divisional round.

"I think what started in Philly (in the 2006 season) and continued in Tampa was the rejuvenation of me and the fire coming back and the excitement of the game and the thrill of playing the game again. I had a great time playing in front of those fans in Tampa. We'll miss Tampa."

Garcia turns 39 next week.