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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Garcia was referencing 2009 season

Quarterback Jeff Garcia made reference in an interview Wednesday to retirement being an option if his contract stalemate with the Bucs isn't resolved.

But I feel it necessary to point out some important context that has been made clear to me this afternoon: Garcia was talking about 2009 -- not this fall. That was just emphasized to me by a person in position to know.

Garcia was asked by Sirius NFL Radio hosts Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan what might happen if the dispute wasn't dealt with and Garcia became a free agent after this season. It was at that point Garcia made reference to possibly retiring. Remember, he has gone on record saying it is his intention to play this fall regardless of the outcome of his negotiations. He has never technically threatened to hold out from training camp, and he continues to show up for voluntary workouts, with perfect attendance to date.

For the record, here's a portion of what Garcia said: "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."

Of course, this clarification doesn't change the fact that Garcia is downright angry about the team's inability to offer the kind of deal he considers acceptable, although his contract demands are believed to be reasonable for a starting quarterback. There apparently has been almost no progress of late toward a new deal, and it's beginning to look like the Bucs have no intention (at least currently) of coming to terms with him. Garcia is looking for a deal he thinks is more in line with his contributions  to the Bucs in 2007 and gives him a little security for 2009.

As it stands, Garcia is still bound to a contract that will pay him $2-million in base salary plus $750,00 for a roster bonus that has already been paid. But whatever the case, rest assured Garcia is not threatening to walk out on the Bucs, at least for this season.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:03pm]


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