San Francisco 49ers: 15 best free-agent acquisitions of all time

Garrison Hearst, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Garrison Hearst, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Garcia, San Francisco 49ers
Jeff Garcia, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images) /

Greatest free agent acquistions in San Francisco 49ers history: 5. Jeff Garcia

49ers Tenure: 1999 – 2003

Just imagine being a player trying to crack NFL ranks, finally doing so, and then being asked to fill the void left by an eventual Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback in Steve Young.

Well, that’s what Jeff Garcia did in 1999 after spending his first eight professional seasons with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL, where he had to overcome a number of odds to even stick around on a roster north of the border.

When Young’s career came to a crashing halt in 1999, the then-overlooked Garcia managed to solidify a hold on the 49ers’ starting job, despite tossing 11 interceptions against 11 touchdowns his first year in the NFL.

After that, though, it was a pretty blissful time for the Bay Area native.

Garcia helped fans move on from Young’s tenure, making it to three consecutive Pro Bowls between 2000 and 2002, tossing 84 touchdowns against 32 interceptions during that three-year stretch.

And who can forget Garcia’s efforts during the 49ers’ legendary comeback against the New York Giants in the playoffs in January of 2003?

The Niners, of course, began to fall apart later that year, and Garcia’s tenure in San Francisco wound to a close.

Still, those memories generated over the first years of the decade are impossible to erase.