Nearly two weeks after working him out at their facilities in New Jersey, the New York Jets have inked a two-year deal with former Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard.
Garrard, 35, hasn’t taken a snap in an NFL game since the 2010 season. He was expected to battle for the Dolphins starting quarterback job in last August, but saw that fight cut short due to a knee injury suffered in training camp. He was ultimately released by Miami and not picked up by any other teams.
A New Jersey native, Garrard was confident about his workout with the Jets and was quite public about his desire to join Gang Green a week ago.
"I definitely think it’s the ideal situation," Garrard told SiriusXM NFL Radio last Thursday. "It was a great workout. Every drill they had me do, I did great in. I felt like my old self again. They loved what they saw."
Garrard has thrown for 16,003 yards, 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions in 86 career games. Garrard started 76 games in nine seasons with Jacksonville and played in the 2009 Pro Bowl. In 2008, he led the Jacksonville Jaguars to a playoff victory over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Jacksonville hasn’t won a playoff game since.
When he last appeared in the NFL, the East Carolina graduate had an 8-6 record starting for the Jaguars in 2010.
"I’m not ready to be done yet," Garrard said on SiriusXM, adding, "I’m tired of sitting and watching on my couch."
"I want to go out and win ballgames. I’ve been watching for the last few years unfortunately and I’ve been watching some not-so-good quarterback play out there and I know that I can still play and I can play at a high level," he said. "I want to get back out on the field and show myself that I can stay healthy and help a ballclub, really."
He joins a quarterback corps that currently includes Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy and Matt Simms on the roster.
As was the case in Dolphins training camp a year ago, Garrard will have every opportunity to win the starting quarterback job outright in August.
The Jets have been seeking a veteran to play behind Sanchez, who comes off the worst season of his four-year NFL career. They soured on Tebow last season and Tebow barely played.
Earlier Monday, new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg said Sanchez ”will probably have just a little bit of a leg up” in the team’s quarterback competition.
Garrard is the first major roster addition made by the Jets’ new general manager, John Idzik.