David Garrard Is Just One Piece of the New York Jets' Quarterback Puzzle

Andrew KaufmanSenior Analyst IMarch 1, 2013

JACKSONVILLE, FL - JULY 28:  Quarterback David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars takes part intraining camp at Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields on July 28, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The rumored mutual interest between David Garrard and the New York Jets is a good thing for the Jets, both because it is good to see New York proactively addressing their weakness at quarterback and because of what Garrard brings to the table.

But while Garrard has a strong track record and has the potential to be a serviceable short-term solution at the position, signing him should not be the only move the Jets make at quarterback this offseason.

Garrard performed pretty well in Jacksonville; frankly, his statistics are surprisingly good through the end of his tenure with the team in 2010.

Garrard completed more than 60 percent of his passes in each of his five seasons with the club, throwing for more touchdowns than interceptions in each year while also adding a few hundred rushing yards. These numbers are good enough to supplant Mark Sanchez as the starter in New York, and his performance is a good fit with the West Coast offense. 

The concern with Garrard, of course, is that he has not compiled any statistics since 2010. Even if he has fully recovered from the knee injury that sidelined him in 2012, the 35-year-old quarterback will still have to overcome a fair amount of rust.

It seems like the Jets are handling the situation appropriately. Contract negotiations have not been disclosed, but the sense is that Gang Green won't break the bank here, and Garrard is absolutely deserving of a tryout from a team that doesn't know who its 2013 quarterback is going to be yet.

The search for the Jets' starting quarterback cannot end here, though. Garrard may prove himself when the time comes, but the risks associated with him are too high to conduct a two-man competition between him and Sanchez.

The expectation is that the Jets will maintain flexibility with this move. They should be able to sign another cheap veteran, like Matt Moore, without hurting their salary cap situation too much. 

Another option is adding a quarterback with a mid-round selection in this year's draft. Having a few veterans in the mix enables the Jets to address other needs early in the draft—it also provides for the possibility of selecting a quarterback project, as opposed to someone who is ready to start from day one.

The Jets have a big need at quarterback and limited means through which to address it, and the potential signing of David Garrard is a good start. But John Idzik's work is far from over.