There’s little doubt Jeff Garcia could add value to the Oakland Raiders, or some other NFL football team, but Garcia isn’t playing on Sunday, his game day is now Saturday, where he plays as a member of the UFL, with the Omaha Nighthawks. I’ve been a fan of Garcia since his days in San Francisco. So, when Omaha came to Connecticut, to play the Hartford Colonials, I made sure I was there, just as I was there when Garcia and the San Francisco 49ers traveled to Dallas, to take on the Dallas Cowboys. Garcia is wearing a different uniform now, in a different league, but he’s still the same scrappy QB, making the most of his opportunities.
After his college career at, San Jose State, Garcia was not drafted by an NFL team, and ended up in Canada, playing for the Calgary Stampede. In 1998, Garcia would lead the Stampede to the Grey Cup Championship, where he earned MVP honors. The NFL took notice, and the following year Garcia was in the NFL, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers.
Garcia’s career with the 49ers was successful. He threw for over 30 touchdowns twice, and over 3,000 yards three times. The 49ers haven’t had a QB that successful since Garcia left. After leaving San Francisco, Garcia played for, the Cleveland Browns, Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Oakland Raiders. 26 rushing touchdowns. Not bad for a small 6’1 undrafted quarterback.
The Raiders would be the last NFL team Garcia played for, and after they released him, the four time all pro, would fail to find work in the league. After a 10 year career in a league he struggled to make it to, Jeff Garcia had a career stat line he could be proud of. Over the course of his career, Garcia has over 25,500 yards passing, 161 touchdowns, 83 interceptions, with over 2100 rushing yards, and
Unwilling to retire after his dismissal from the NFL, Garcia signed on with the newly formed UFL, joining the Omaha Nighthawks. After sitting behind someone with more physical talent then himself, JaMarcus Russell, but half the heart, and determination, Garcia is proof that hard work can compensate for some things, and physical ability isn’t everything. Jeff Garcia is the quarterback of the Omaha Nighthawks, and the guy he backed up in the NFL, is currently not playing football at all.
With the UFL season winding down, Garcia currently has his team in second place in the league. Like Daunte Culpepper who’s also a QB in the league, Garcia’s days in the NFL seem over, but that’s okay. The gutsy quarterback has played in three leagues, been an all-pro, and won a championship, and that’s far more then most who play this game can say.