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Garcia officially off Browns' books

CLEVELAND (Feb. 22, 2005) -- Jeff Garcia officially is without a team, and the Cleveland Browns officially are without a proven quarterback.

The Browns released Garcia and formally ended a one-year relationship that seemed doomed from the outset. There was no fanfare as the club chose not to release a statement or give a reason for cutting ties with Garcia.

Last week, the Browns announced their intention to rid themselves of Garcia, who signed a four-year contract with Cleveland last March. Garcia's departure leaves the Browns with only prospects Luke McCown and Josh Harris under contract at quarterback.

General manager Phil Savage has said he would like to re-sign Kelly Holcomb, who can become a free agent March 2. Holcomb has been with the Browns since 2001 but his stay in Cleveland has been marred by injuries.

He missed 10 games in 2002 with a broken leg, three games in 2003 with another broken leg and torn ligaments and four games last season with broken ribs.

Holcomb, who'll turn 32 in July, has not been working out at the team's facilities in suburban Berea. But he visited Savage and new Browns coach Romeo Crennel last week, perhaps the first sign he is interested in staying with Cleveland.

If the Browns don't re-sign Holcomb, they'll have to hit the free-agent market to find a starting QB. There aren't many good ones out there and the talent pool was lessened by one when the Seattle Seahawks signed Matt Hasselbeck to a six-year deal.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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