The hits just keep coming this off season for Jaguars QB David Garrard. One would think that when your head coach basically calls you mediocre on ESPN, it would be the low point for you. However, this week may have superseded Del Rio's comments. While there was never anything solid to say how much the Jags were part of the McNabb carousel, two other developments are certain. The Jaguars will be one of the teams to speak with Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen and they are looking to getting soon to be ex-Redskins QB Jason Campbell.
Despite Garrard being a "Pro Bowl" quarterback in 2009, it is clear that he hasn't been playing at a level that warrants a massive contract. Garrard led the league in red zone turnovers last year, while being in the bottom half of the league in passing yards, touchdowns, and QB rating. Do those kind of numbers scream out franchise quarterback to you?
There is simply too much noise and smoke being generated to not think the Jaguars are wanting a change at the position, either from a talent or financial stand point.
As Alfie has pointed out, the Jaguars have paid all of the guaranteed money in Garrard's contract. They could cut him and not have any "dead" money invested in him. That is a huge bargaining chip most team's with QB issues don't have. It has been mentioned numerous times that the Jaguars want Garrard to take a paycut. However, the Jaguars don't have the necessary leverage with just Luke McCown on the roster. Have all of these media reports meant to get him to the table much easier?
I don't think so. I generally believe Gene Smith and Co. believe David Garrard is an average QB who managed to catch lightning in a bottle and use it to get himself a big contract. There is nothing wrong with that, there are plenty of QBs who have done it before and will do it again.
However, it does put Garrard in a precarious position. He hasn't come close to putting up his 2007 level numbers the last two years. Garrard was given a good supporting cast last year with an up and coming #1 WR, a reliable TE, and a stud RB. What happened? He repeated his 2006 performance by choking away the Jaguars playoff hopes.
When another QB can come along and play just as well for much cheaper (Campbell) or become a legitimate franchise QB (Clausen), then it is in the franchise's best interest to evaluate everything.
In the Jaguars case, I believe their evaluation has led them to this position regarding David Garrard. Take a paycut and still face an open competition in camp or be cut and try to find a new team.