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Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard was uncerimoniously released from the Jaguars on the Monday prior to the start of the regular season. Garrard had struggled during training camp to hold off Luke McCown and rookie Blaine Gabbert, and compounded his poor play with a back injury causing him to miss some time.
After Garrard was released by the Jaguars, the Miami Dolphins and Oakland Raiders were rumored to have interest. Neither of those teams signed Garrard, however, as he needed surgery on his back to repair a bulging disk. Garrard opted to have the surgery and sit out the remainder of the 2011 NFL season recovering, leaving some to wonder if Garrard would ever play again.
Recently, the former Jaguars quarterback has made it known he would like to play again and is looking forward to being a free agent.
"This is going to be a fun time," Garrard told Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union in a phone interview. "I've never been a free agent before. It's almost like you're being recruited again."
Garrard was drafted by the Jaguars in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL draft. Garrard spent most of his career backing up Mark Brunell and first-round draft pick Byron Leftwich, but in 2007 Garrard was awarded the starting job and led the team to the playoffs. He helped the Jags beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in the playoffs before losing to the New England Patriots in the divisional round, earning the quarterback a $60 million extension. Garrard struggled to get the Jaguars back to the playoffs and to repeat his 2007 performance, before being released.
"I am definitely fed up with sitting around and not being on a team, running and throwing with guys," Garrard told Ganguli. "This past year was an eye opener to the retired life, and I'm definitely not ready for that. I'm really excited about getting back out and being part of a team."
For more on David Garrard and which teams might be interested in his services, stay tuned to this StoryStream.
It's been reported that the Oakland Raiders reached out to free agent David Garrard following an injury to Jason Campbell on Sunday. A move like that would make sense considering the Raiders have just Kyle Boller and Terrelle Pryor on the roster after Campbell's injury, which could keep him out for nearly the entire season (or more).
Apparently you can scratch Garrard off Oakland's list. Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports that Garrard is undergoing immediate surgery on a herniated disc in his back.
No word on how long that will keep him out but it makes you wonder if Garrard will play at all this year. Most teams that need an upgrade at the position have already made that move and time is running short for Garrard. His best shot may be waiting for an injury later in the season, if he is able to return this season.
The Oakland Raiders suffered a blow on Sunday when they learned that QB Jason Campbell had broken his collarbone and could miss the entire 2011 NFL season. With Oakland sitting at 4-2 and in contention in the AFC West, there are already rumors cropping up that they're exploring the market for a new quarterback.
Some NFL trade rumors have connected them to Carson Palmer but the Cincinnati Bengals are unlikely to budge in their refusal to trade him. One interesting option out there that is currently a free agent is David Garrard. The former Jacksonville Jaguars QB was released shortly before the season and still doesn't have a home.
Garrard was reportedly contacted by the Miami Dolphins when they lost Chad Henne for the season and the Raiders have now reached out to Garrard as well, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. That doesn't mean they'll sign him -- just that they're exploring their options.
Garrard wants a team that's willing to commit to him and in Oakland he would be on a team that has a shot at making the playoffs. So if Garrard wanted to go someplace where he'll be relevant, Oakland may be his best option at the moment.
Check out SB Nation's Silver and Black Pride to see what Raiders fans are saying about the possibility of Garrard.
I've been reading SB Nation's Big Cat Country and over the past few months they've been hammering home the idea that QB David Garrard didn't give the Jacksonville Jaguars the best chance to win. QB Luke McCown had been the best quarterback in camp the last two years so that's why Tuesday's news that the Jags were releasing Garrard didn't come as a huge surprise to them.
As Big Cat Country writes on Wednesday morning, it had become apparent that the team had lost faith in Garrard as the leader of the team, partly evidenced by the fact that he wasn't voted on as a team captain by his teammates.
Gerald Alexander, a member of the Jaguars from 2008 to part of 2010 tweeted yesterday that quite a few players felt like Luke McCown would have won the starting job last season, had their been a legitimate competition for the position. I've had a handful of other players tell me as much in private, as well. Simply put: The team as a whole, lost faith in David Garrard as their starting quarterback.
There wasn't necessarily one moment when it happened but at some point along the line it started to become apparent. Big Cat Country has a lengthy piece trying to determine when that happened but the result won't change -- Garrard is out and McCown takes over the team.
The move came as a shock to Garrard and his agent, the latter of whom told the Florida Times-Union that Garrard "had been assured the starting gig this year."
"This had to be a last minute decision," said Al Irby, Garrard's agent. "That's the only thing I can say. I don't think these guys would purposely tell me one thing and [do another]."
Irby went on to say that three teams have reached out to him in attempts to sign the 33-year-old, but declined to name them. Garrard is taking his time with the decision, since it's clear he'll have a job somewhere in the NFL this year, just not a starting gig like the one he had in Jacksonville.
Landing spots for Garrard that have been tossed around are the Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins, both of whom don't have the most secure of starting quarterbacks for the present or future, and the Baltimore Ravens, who are desperately in need of a backup quarterback after Tyrod Taylor's injury.
Jags head coach Jack Del Rio said the decision was "purely football," and was clearly dissatisfied with Garrard's performance in the preseason and during practice. Per, again, the Florida Times-Union:
"We understand the importance of the position," Del Rio said. "He just couldn't get it going. We were hoping for some sign of life. For him to pick it up and get it going."
The Jacksonville Jaguars have made a surprising move releasing QB David Garrard and deciding to go with QB Luke McCown as the starting quarterback to open the 2011 season. Garrard has been the Jaguars starting quarterback for the last four years so he'll attract some interest on the open market.
The only question is where he'll go next. Is he a backup someplace? Does he wait for an injury and then sign?
If I were Garrard, I'd find the best opportunity to play. Whether that's as a backup someplace with a shaky quarterback situation or a spot where an injury could occur.
Another place where I would think about if I were Garrard is the Detroit Lions. He'd clearly be a backup there but you have to consider QB Matthew Stafford's injury history. Plus, the Lions offense has a ton of weapons.
If I'm Garrard, I find the place where I'm most likely to play. Sign a short-term deal and hit the market again in 2012 as one of the top quarterbacks available.
There's no other way to put. The release of QB David Garrard from the Jacksonville Jaguars is a major surprise. Only five days before the start of the season, an NFL team has released the player we thought would be their starting quarterback.
But should it be a surprise? SB Nation's Big Cat Country has been in front of the story and says this shouldn't come as a major shocker.
Flat out, David Garrard was terrible in the preseason and throughout training camp. It's no surprise either that Luke McCown will be the opening day starter. McCown had consistently been the best Jaguars quarterback in training camp and in the preseason.
Big Cat Country reminds us of what happened back on Sept. 1, 2007. Back then, a little less than weeks before the season, the Jags released QB Byron Leftwich and went with Garrard.
Now, four years later, the same thing has happened.
Hop on over to Big Cat Country to see the reaction to all this from Jags fans.
The Jaguars have made a surprising move by informing QB David Garrard they'll be releasing him, according to a report.