The New York Jets‘ quarterback competition got an unexpected shake-up this week, when veteran quarterback David Garrard decided to end his comeback attempt and call it quits, retiring from the NFL at age 35.
Garrard, pegged by some as a legitimate frontrunner to earn the Jets’ Week 1 starting quarterback job, cited recurring soreness in his surgically repaired knee as the primary reason for his sudden decision to walk away.
Barring any trades, the Jets are now down to a four-man quarterback competition with Garrard bowing out. Losing Garrard means they lose the most experienced quarterback in camp, and that may have significant ramifications.
What it means for David Garrard:
He gets to retire a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, ultimately the only team he ever played for, in games that count. He hadn’t taken a regular season snap since 2010, and now, he’s free to retire a career Jaguar.
What it means for Mark Sanchez:
Sanchez may have new life with the Jets now, as the most experienced quarterback on the roster, almost by default. He’ll still have to earn his way into the driver’s seat, but it’s a heck of a lot better than being roadkill.
What it means for Geno Smith:
Smith (pictured above) impressed at rookie mini-camp, but has a long way to go to earn the Week 1 gig. However, it’s not impossible to suggest that the Jets could give him a chance to sink or swim to see how he responds.
What it means for Greg McElroy:
McElroy will compete for a spot on the 53-man roster and likely win a backup job. He’s bright, he understands the game and he’s a valuable guy to have around, especially with the overall uncertainty at the position.
What it means for Matt Simms:
Keep the dream alive, kid.