Jeff Garcia open to returning to Eagles

If the Philadelphia Eagles want a veteran quarterback to mentor

Kevin Kolb, Jeff Garcia is ready for the role.

The four-time Pro Bowl quarterback said in an e-mail to The

Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s talked to the team about

the possibility, but nothing is imminent.

“I would welcome the opportunity to return to Philly and be a

part of the Eagles’ organization and to be in front of those great

fans again,” Garcia wrote. “I know that I would be a great

addition/mentor for Kevin as well as many of the other young guys

on the team. Time will tell.”

The Eagles traded six-time Pro Bowl quarterback Donovan McNabb

to Washington last week, paving the way for Kolb to start.

The 25-year-old Kolb has started just two games in three

seasons. Michael Vick is Philadelphia’s current backup.

Garcia filled in nicely when McNabb went down with a knee injury

in 2006, leading the Eagles to the NFC East title and a playoff

victory. He returned for a couple games last season as a backup

when McNabb broke a rib, then was released.

In 2006, the Eagles went 5-1 down the stretch with Garcia as the

starter. The gritty Garcia became an instant fan favorite in

blue-collar Philadelphia, and teammates praised his leadership

skills. But the Eagles chose to let Garcia test free agency after

that season and he signed with Tampa Bay.

McNabb guided the Eagles to five NFC championships and one Super

Bowl in 11 seasons, but he never completely won over the fans the

way Garcia did in half a season.

The 40-year-old Garcia began his NFL career with San Francisco

in 1999. He had his best season in 2000, completing 63.3 percent of

his passes (355-for-561) for 4,278 yards, 31 TDs and only 10

interceptions in 2000. Garcia averaged 3,720 yards and 28 TDs

between 2000-02.

Garcia played five seasons in San Francisco and spent one each

with Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia. After two years in Tampa

Bay, he signed with Oakland last year but was released in training

camp. Garcia was with the Eagles for two games last September.