CLEVELAND — Here’s a new wrinkle in the Browns’ curious quarterback conundrum: Former NFL starter Jeff Garcia called and offered his services.
Garcia, who started 10 games for Cleveland in 2004, told 92.3 The Fan on Tuesday that he contacted the Browns and asked for a tryout. The 43-year-old Garcia hasn’t started an NFL game in five years, but he informed the Browns he would love a chance to make their team.
“I actually reached out to the Browns and said, ‘Hey, if you need a guy to come in, work me out, take a look,’” Garcia told the station. “I don’t know if people want me back in Cleveland, but I’m open to the opportunity.”
Garcia, who went 3-7 in his stint as a starter in Cleveland, said the Browns declined his offer. Garcia is the only Browns starting QB to win a season opener in the team’s expansion era since 1999.
The Browns have had quarterback issues all season. Starter Brandon Weeden got hurt and was replaced by Brian Hoyer, who won two games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Weeden returned to the starting lineup but has struggled the past two games. He completed just 17 of 42 attempts in Sunday’s 31-13 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Coach Rob Chudzinski said Monday that he’s considering a change at QB, and could turn to veteran Jason Campbell this week when the Browns (3-3) visit the unbeaten Kansas City Chiefs (7-0).
Chudzinski will announce his decision Wednesday.
Weeden’s problems have included poor decisions, forced throws and two underhanded flips in the fourth quarter during losses to Detroit and Green Bay the past two weeks. Most Cleveland fans have seen enough and are screaming for a change.
However, Weeden still has support in Cleveland’s locker room. Several of his teammates have stepped up to back the 30-year-old, saying he’s not the only one who should be blamed.
“I haven’t been here long enough,” said running back Willis McGahee, who signed with the Browns last month after Trent Richardson was traded. “I’ve played a couple of games with him and from what I’ve seen, he might have made a couple plays that’s shouldn’t have been thrown but who says everything is going to be perfect? I had some runs in the game that I could’ve taken backside and I didn’t take it.
“It’s hard. It’s hard for a quarterback to come out and be perfect especially with the history he’s had here, it’s even harder with everybody on him. I take my hat off to him because he still walks around with a smile on his face, still competitive. That right there shows what kind of character he has.”