Mired in relative obscurity in recent weeks, veteran QB David Garrard is now making some noise about joining a NFL team due to the rash of recent injuries to signal callers. Garrard was a member of the Miami Dolphins in the pre-season but a knee injury precipitated his release as the team named rookie QB Ryan Tannehill the starter and Matt Moore as the team’s quarterback tandem. After proclaiming himself healthy, which NFL team should sign the veteran signal caller?
The Pittsburgh Steelers immediately come to mind. With QB Ben Roethlisberger suffering what is being described as a “unique” shoulder injury, the Steelers could be in trouble down the stretch at the quarterback position. The backup quarterback in Pittsburgh is Byron Leftwich, the quarterback Garrard replaced as the starter when the pair were in Jacksonville. Garrard is a better quarterback than Leftwich and the Steelers need to give Garrard some consideration if Roethlisberger’s injury is going to be lengthy.
The Chicago Bears are also a team which could make some sense. Jay Cutler suffered a concussion this past Sunday and could be out this week and perhaps longer. Jason Campbell is a capable backup with significant starting experience in the NFL. Several reports suggest that the Bears will re-sign journeyman Josh McCown as an insurance policy. Garrard is a much better quarterback than McCown.
There is a chance that the 49ers could be without QB Alex Smith, also dealing with a concussion but I wouldn’t expect the Niners to be interested in Garrard with Colin Kaepernick entrenched as the backup. The second-year quarterback has demonstrated some significant mobility in the pocket in limited action this season.
Don’t look for the Philadelphia Eagles to be interested in adding the veteran, they have three quarterbacks on the roster currently. Michael Vick might sit the remainder of the year according to some reports but that move will likely open the door for the team to assess rookie Nick Foles for the rest of the year while changes are expected in the City of Brotherly Love next season.
Why wouldn’t the Jacksonville Jaguars entertain bringing Garrard back? The offense is struggling mightily. Blaine Gabbert has not shown the progression one would have hoped this season while Chad Henne is nothing more than a backup quarterback. Garrard was the starting quarterback for the Jaguars in 2010 when he passed for 23 touchdowns and posted a 90.8 passer rating, numbers not seen in Jacksonville since Garrard departed. Since the start of 2011, the Jaguars have scored 17 or fewer points in 76% of their games.
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