It appears that the New York Jets‘ quarterback competition has decreased. According to multiple reports, quarterback David Garrard has informed teammates that he will retire. Garrard, as many know, has struggled recently with injuries. Back surgery resulted in him missing all of the 2011 season, and another setback prevented a comeback last year.
Knee issues led to Garrard being released by the Miami Dolphins during training camp. This was apparently causing problems again as he told teammates that it “wasn’t holding up.” Barring a change of heart this will be it for a player that registered 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions after being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002’s NFL Draft. Garrard made his only Pro Bowl following the 2010 season. He was supposed to provide a veteran presence for second-round pick Geno Smith, but now a move that was speculated for weeks may not happen.
An impending release of fellow signal caller Mark Sanchez suddenly appears much less likely. Besides Sanchez the only other quarterbacks are Matt Simms, Greg McElroy, and of course Smith. Between those three players is a total of one career start. New York supposedly had planned to appoint their rookie as starter, but nothing is certain.
Public opinion among Jets fans remains staunchly against Sanchez ever starting again for their team. At this point there may be a decent chance that he is under center for the opening game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith remains a long-term answer, but the competition projects to be a tough battle between the promising prospect and the desperate veteran. I still believe that Sanchez will serve as backup, but fate has given him another chance.