SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Oakland Raiders released veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia on Saturday as NFL teams reduced their rosters to a league-mandated 53 players.
Garcia, signed in the offseason as a backup and mentor to starter JaMarcus Russell, was one of 22 players let go by Oakland, the team said on its website (www.raiders.com).
"First and foremost, we are committed to JaMarcus as our starter," Raiders coach Tom Cable told reporters. "When you look at the preseason and practices and camp and the games, Bruce (Gradkowski) and Charlie (Frye) were the most productive (backups) in terms of scoring points and moving the football team."
The 39-year-old Garcia is in his 11th NFL season, having played the last two years for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he started 24 games. He spent five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, then played for Cleveland, Detroit and Philadelphia.
New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, whose catch helped the Giants win the Super Bowl in 2008, was also released, along with veteran Kansas City linebacker Zach Thomas and quarterbacks, John David Booty of Minnesota and Brian Brohm of Green Bay.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina. Editing by Ian Ransom; To query or comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)