Only one of them, Jon Kitna, the new Dallas Cowboys backup, remotely can approximate Garcia's fairly impressive accomplishments in the league.
Yet, two weeks into his latest experience with unrestricted free agency, Garcia is still without a job. His phone rarely rings with job offers.
The silence that surrounds Garcia is deafening and one of the real puzzles of early free agency.
Perhaps his age, 39, and his itinerant background -- Garcia has played for five different franchises in six seasons -- are culprits. Maybe the travel tags have become baggage. Yet it seems teams clearly want to get younger at the quarterback position -- but not necessarily better.
Before free agency began in February, Tampa Bay Buccaneers officials told Garcia that he should not plan on a third season with the team. Luke McCown has been anointed the new starting quarterback. Garcia took the abrupt demotion in stride.
NFC South blog
ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas writes about all things NFC South in his division blog.
He is certainly flexible about his future role in the league. Garcia is just as strident about not retiring, not when he feels he is coming off two very good seasons in Tampa Bay, and has a couple more good years in him.
In his two seasons with the Bucs, Garcia was 14-10 as a starter, took his team from last place in 2006 to the playoffs in 2007. He thought he had provided much-needed stability at a position which historically has been a revolving door of sorts for the team.
Yet less-experienced quarterbacks such as Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo),
Dan Orlovsky (Houston), J.T. O'Sullivan (Cincinnati), Chris Simms (Denver) and Matt Cassel (Kansas City) have found jobs. The presumptive starter with the Minnesota Vikings is Sage Rosenfels, a journeyman who has 12 regular-season starts compared with Garcia's 116, and whose history has been marked with turnovers.
Where might a quarterback with Jeff Garcia's résumé fit for the 2009 season? Consider some possibilities.
New York Jets: The retirement of Brett Favre leaves the Jets without a proven starter. First dibs go to former second-round pick
Kellen Clemens. But when the Jets' brass traded for Favre last summer, it indicated that Clemens wasn't really the long-term answer. That leaves youngsters Erik Ainge and Brett Ratliff to battle Clemens. The Jets like Ratliff's potential a lot, but he is hardly ready to start.
San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were supposed to address their long-term quarterback situation when they selected Alex Smith with the first overall pick in the 2005 draft. But Smith has struggled and is coming off in-season shoulder surgery. The other quarterbacks on the roster are retreads Shaun Hill and Damon Huard. Wouldn't it be something if Garcia finished his career in the Bay Area, with the franchise that started his league tenure, and where he earned three Pro Bowl berths?
Detroit Lions: Garcia had one terrible experience with the Lions, starting five games during the 2005 season. It's doubtful, at this point in his career, that Garcia really wants to play for such a woeful team. Still, the only quarterback on the roster with real experience is Daunte Culpepper, whom the Lions' brass likes. But Garcia certainly would seem like an upgrade over Culpepper.
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings recently acquired Sage Rosenfels from Houston, and feel he will be the starter. But general manager Rick Spielman acknowledged last week that the team could add another quarterback before camp opens. Garcia has started 116 games, while Rosenfels has only a dozen starts and is prone to turnovers in bunches.
New England Patriots: Having traded insurance policy Matt Cassel, the Patriots need experience. Their current backups to a recovering Tom Brady are Matt Gutierrez and Kevin O'Connell, neither of whom has ever started a regular-season game. The Patriots love O'Connell's size and arm strength but they love his potential for the distant future. Coach Bill Belichick likes to add veteran players who want to be with a winner, and Garcia certainly fits the requirements.
St. Louis Rams: Having not retained veteran Trent Green, the Rams need someone to fill the No. 2 slot behind Marc Bulger. It's likely that St. Louis will sign veteran backup Gus Frerotte for the job. But if that falls through, Garcia could be an attractive alternative.
-- Len Pasquarelli
In a league where several teams are at least still seeking backup quarterbacks, it's hard to imagine that the accomplished Garcia could well be the odd man out when clubs report to training camp this summer.
But until his telephone rings, or someone contacts agent Steve Baker about him, that's exactly how it is. Jeff Garcia is a man without a team and that's beyond frustrating. Despite the movement in free agency, several veterans remain unemployed, but few possess Garcia's résumé.
"I'm not saying what my role will be [in the NFL in 2009], but it's frustrating right now," Garcia recently told The Tampa Tribune. "What's especially frustrating, after knocking around for a while, is that I know I can still play. The two seasons with the Bucs really rejuvenated my career. The juices are flowing again and I couldn't always say that."
Two years ago, then-coach Jon Gruden convinced Garcia to sign with the Bucs. But Gruden, who struggled after the franchise's Super Bowl XXXVII victory, is gone. And so, it seems, is Garcia's safety net.
"I guess it's time again to find another new team," said Garcia, who had hoped to conclude his playing career with the Bucs.
"He's on the radar screen but right now, he's a blip," said one NFC pro personnel chief, who asked for anonymity. He admires Garcia, does not want to embarrass the veteran, and hopes the former San Jose State star returns to the league -- just not with his team.
Garcia is one of only seven quarterbacks in NFL history to have back-to-back seasons of 30 or more touchdown passes. He has thrown for more than 25,000 career yards, with an almost 2-1 ratio of touchdown passes to interceptions (161-83). Among the seven quarterbacks who have found new teams, only Kitna has thrown for more yards (27,293 compared with Garcia's 25,537), and none of them has more touchdown passes. Take Kitna out of the equation, and Garcia has thrown more touchdown passes than the other six combined.
Garcia has been to four Pro Bowl games, the most recent only two seasons ago. Garcia has rung up a winning record of 59-57, not terribly impressive. But he has not played on a strong team since being traded by the San Francisco 49ers -- who made the playoffs in 2001 and 2002 under Garcia -- to the Cleveland Browns for salary-cap purposes in 2004. In one of his few standout seasons since then, Garcia replaced an injured Donovan McNabb toward the end of the 2006 season, and led the Philadelphia Eagles to a playoff berth.
His reward that year was much the same as it has been this spring: no new contract.
The veteran quarterback -- a former Canadian Football League star who entered the NFL at 29 -- left his heart in San Francisco, along with most of his best days as a difference-maker in the league.
But given a chance, Garcia feels like he can summon up some glory days once again. Yet, while younger, less experienced quarterbacks get jobs, Garcia is stuck in the unemployment line.
And like a lot of Americans during this financial crisis, he wonders how he got there.
Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.