If Favre's in, is Garcia out?
Hopefully the Brett Favre saga will resolve itself in the near future, because it's about time we moved on to something else already.
But with the specter of Favre in a Bucs uniform hanging over the head of current starting quarterback Jeff Garcia, we can't ignore the 800-pound gorilla: What happens to Garcia if Favre joins the Bucs?
Perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves, and I for one remain unconvinced Favre to Tampa Bay is a sure thing for a number of reasons. But it is certainly a legitimate possibility, particularly given Chris Simms revelation to the St. Petersburg Times that general manager Bruce Allen asked his opinion of how Favre might adapt to the Bucs' playbook with limited preseason preparation.
So, if the deal went down, what to do with Garcia? The Bucs could keep him, cut him or trade him. It would seem his current level of disenchantment with the Bucs (stemming from his dead-end contract negotiations) would worsen if he had to give way to Brett Favre and remain on the roster to boot. Would the Bucs be willing to stomach the ill feelings he understandbly would air? Would that affect team chemistry? These are questions the Bucs have to consider -- as much as Favre's salary and ability to learn the playbook even -- when they take stock of any opportunity to land Favre.
As for the concept of trading Garcia in the wake of Favre's potential arrival, he certainly would have value on the market when and if another team's starting quarterback suffered an injury. Being the veteran he is, he likely could step into a team's offense and function with little turnaround time. If the price was right, the Bucs might be willing to part with a guy they once billed as one of the missing pieces to their offensive puzzle.
The final option would be to release Garcia, but that would seem a last-resort decision. The Bucs would rather recover something for last year's starting quarterback if he became expendable. But we know this much: the Bucs currently have five quarterbacks (Garcia, Simms, Brian Griese, Luke McCown and Josh Johnson).
They can't all stick around, especially if Favre comes aboard.
[Favre photo: Getty Images, Garcia photo: Carrie Pratt, Times files]