Veteran QB Garcia among Raiders' cuts.
Remember all that training camp talk that it was a matter of when, not if, Jeff Garcia replaced Jamarcus Russell as the Raiders starting quarterback? Um, never mind.
Garcia, a four-time Pro Bowler and 10-year NFL veteran purportedly signed to serve as Russell's mentor and backup, was among the 22 players cut Saturday by the Raiders as the team got down to its 53-man roster by the NFL's mandated deadline.
Garcia, 39, was not available for comment, but coach Tom Cable explained the team's thinking in a conference call with Bay Area media. "First and foremost," Cable said, "we are committed to Jamarcus Russell as our starter.
"Whether or not (Jeff was) comfortable in his role as a backup, it is what it is. JaMarcus is our guy, and those two other guys did a great job in terms of performing on game night."
Those "two other guys" are quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski and Charlie Frye. The move also gives credence to the notion Russell may now feel, at best, not threatened by the likes of two journeymen and, at worst, bulletproof.
Cable has publicly challenged Russell to be more of a leader in, this, his critical third season. Russell's work ethic and self-motivation have been questioned by Raiders insiders and outsiders.
Saturday, Cable insisted he is not worried.