Latest on the backup QB chase
If you've been trying to keep up with the QB movement this off-season, to see who is going to back up Joey Harrington you're not along. Now that Kurt Warner is off the list, focus turns to Jeff Garcia (my choice) and Brad Johnson (whom I'd choose ahead of Warner).
On Monday night, Adam Schefter, insider on the NFL Network, says Garcia is suddenly visiting the Seahawks and that Johnson could likely splash down in Detroit.
Rich Eisen: What other quarterback news do you have for us?
Adam Schefter: Jeff Garcia visited with the Denver Broncos on Monday, and then was off to the Seattle Seahawks who now have an opening at the backup quarterback position now that they've traded Trent Dilfer to Cleveland for a fourth round draft pick.
Jeff Garcia is going to decide very likely between Denver or Seattle. Then that leaves the other quarterbacks on the backup quarterback carousel deciding where they want to play. Brad Johnson will likely end up in Detroit, in that case. That will leave Jay Fiedler, who is going to be visiting the Bears on Tuesday. But Brad Johnson is scheduled to visit Detroit and Chicago. I think Garcia's decision is coming down to Denver or Seattle.
Here's the story on Garcia talking about how great it would be to sign with the Broncos, and his visiting the Seahawks -- from the Rocky Mountain News. I suggest reading the whole story. I am finding too many things to post here, so click here to read the whole thing.
"I want to talk to [Seattle] coach (Mike) Holmgren, and then I would expect to make a decision some time after I've been there," Garcia said.
When asked if that meant making a choice by the end of the week, Garcia said: "I think that would be about right. I need to get myself with that team and start to learn and work out and do all those things that are going to be necessary for me to be a contributor."
Garcia, who turned 35 on Feb. 24, said each of the teams he has spoken with have offered him a backup position. Detroit was considered a front-runner because Mariucci might have been more inclined to let Garcia compete for the starting job. But Garcia said he was told Joey Harrington will go to training camp as Detroit's starter.
The whole Seattle thing just came out of NOWHERE last night. Here is a CNN/SI piece by Don Banks from 6 p.m. Monday night talking about Garcia is the next QB option likely to fall. He says the money is on Denver, and really quickly. He says Tampa is a distant third. No mention of the Seahawks.
Garcia wants to be part of a winning situation, and covets the chance to play behind a quality offensive line -- a pair of factors that weigh in Denver's favor in a head-to-head duel with Detroit.
General manager Matt Millen remains firmly behind still-developing starter Joey Harrington, who he drafted No. 3 overall in 2002, while head coach Steve Mariucci intends to give a veteran quarterback every opportunity to challenge Harrington's first-team status. Garcia has a better chance to start in Detroit than he does in Denver, but he understandably might have some uncertainty about climbing into the middle of the Lions' quarterback situation.
If Garcia joins the Broncos by Tuesday, I would be shocked if the Lions let Johnson get on the plane for Chicago without doing almost anything in their power to land the guy who helped Tampa Bay to its Super Bowl title a little more than 25 months ago.
And the guessing doesn't end there. Here's Kowalski's ponderings in the Lions forum from Monday -- before the Kennedy signing.
TomKowalski: Puzzling QB picture ... both millen and mooch said earlier that once one qb was signed, the situation would be sorted out very quickly ... garcia was in denver last night meeting with the broncos, but i still think the lions are his first priority ... however, the warner thing is interesting ... did the cardinals up their offer before warner arrived in detroit because they knew the lions would make a big pitch for him -- or did warner realize that garcia is going to end up in detroit so he just saved his time and accepted arizona's offer? ... yes, the lions are an attractive team for a free agent, but are the lions overplaying their hand? i'll be surprised if we don't have a more clear answer in the next 36 hours -- to know whether the lions are either serious about garcia or not ... stay tuned ...
Here's some background on Johnson from a Detroit News story. It also has an interesting quote from his agent, saying he'd be happy to be a back-up -- for now. Which is perfect in Detroit.
Johnson, 36, has played 13 pro seasons for Minnesota, Washington and Tampa Bay. He has been with the Buccaneers the last four years and was the starter on the 2002 team that won the Super Bowl. He was benched after four games in 2004 in favor of Brian Griese. Tampa Bay released Johnson on Tuesday.
"Brad would like to be in a place where he still has a chance to compete, whether it's initially or eventually," Williams said.
And if all else fails, Steve Pate of the Oakland Press has another suggestion.
If Garcia and Johnson sign elsewhere, McMahon might still have more value in Detroit...