In 2007, the Jacksonville Jaguars shocked the football world by severing ties with starting quarterback Byron Leftwich nine days before the season opener. Leftwich was blindsided by the news, and coach Jack del Rio handed the job to David Garrard.
Now, in 2011, del Rio has flipped the tables on Garrard. Less than a week before the team's first game, the Jaguars have decided to replace their entrenched starting quarterback. Up until his release, Garrard had been led to believe he would be the starting quarterback.
The move leaves the Jaguars with Luke McCown keeping the quarterback spot warm for Blaine Gabbert and an extra $9 million in their pockets. Garrard, an adept game manager, is left looking for a job.
David Garrard has never been a spectacular quarterback, but if given a chance, he is more than capable of running an offense. In the Jaguars' conservative offense, Garrard threw 23 touchdowns a year ago in just 14 starts.
He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2009 and has a winning record for his career, despite playing with sub-par talent at receiver in Jacksonville.
This is a clear cost-cutting maneuver by a financially strapped small market team. Garrard did not figure into the long-term plan in Jacksonville, but the timing, as it was with Bryon Leftwich, is puzzling.
David Garrard is a proven winner in the NFL. He will not be on the market long. There are still several unsettled quarterback situations in the NFL. Look for one of them to snap up Garrard very quickly.