It has been a very interesting last few months for David Garrard. The 35 year old quarterback signed with the New York Jets on March 11. Then out of the blue on March 15, Garrard retired from football. His reason for retiring was that consistent knee swelling impaired his ability to play. So with that, his career in the NFL looked to be over. Now on October 10, Garrard is back again in the NFL, as it has been announced he has signed again with the Jets. With the signing he has been placed on the exempt list for two games. The Jets have this week and next to decide whether to activate him.
The 6-foot-1, 239-pound Garrard is a career 61.6 percent passer with 89 TD and 54 INT. A fourth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002, the East Carolina product is eligible to do everything with the Jets. He can practice and attend meetings, but the only thing he can’t do is play in games.
Now this is where things get really interesting as to what the Jets are going to want to do with their quarterbacks. Geno Smith is the starter for the Jets; that’s still a given. Listed as the backup is Matt Simms, who has yet to throw a pass in the regular season. Sitting at third string QB right now is former first round draft pick Brady Quinn, a veteran with starting experience. He has been inactive for four games, and now you can throw Garrard into that mix as well.
This to me really doesn’t make much sense. Smith is the starting quarterback on this football team. They had to go with Smith since Mark Sanchez is done for the year after having surgery on his injured throwing shoulder. Every football team needs a backup quarterback, so Simms is it right now. This is telling me two things here. One is they want to have extra insurance policies in place just in case something happens to Smith. This also tells me that the Jets have no idea what they want to have behind Smith on the depth chart.
But this move could be a low-risk, high-reward move for Jets. The benefits of adding Garrard to the competition in the spring still exist today. It makes Smith want to play that much better to keep his starting job, it helps to have a veteran presence on the bench to help Smith out during games, and it makes every other quarterback on the team want to play that much better. The only question I have for this is can Garrard’s knee really hold up and allow him to actually try and play? If he can play, then Garrard’s presence could be of benefit to the team.
Will it actually work out for both Garrard and the Jets? Only time will tell.