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 early 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 Jaguars 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." Garrard should get some play in free agency if his back checks out, especially for a team looking for a more-than-capable back up quarterback.