I’d like to recommend that everyone reading this immediately go to the “Draft Results” page in their fantasy football league, find the guy who took David Garrard as a No. 2 quarterback and talk some trash. This is your responsibility as a fantasy football player, but do keep in mind that what goes around comes around. Be creative, but don’t rub too much salt in his wounds.
Those wounds exist because the Jaguars are releasing Garrard, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.
It’s obviously a shocking move, considering that Garrard was the starting pivot in Jacksonville and was coming off a decent season. But the 33-year-old had three years and about $25 million left on his contract, and the team must have figured that Luke McCown, who is only slated to make $1.8 million this year, would be a satisfactory option to manage the transition to the Blaine Gabbert era. The key, though, is that going with McCown instead of Garrard saves the team about $8 million this year.
Only four years ago, Jack Del Rio pulled the exact same stunt at about the exact same time when he released starting quarterback Byron Leftwich (in favor of Garrard) eight days before their first game. The move to cut ties with Garrard was made five days before the Jags open the 2011 season.
Glazer reports that McCown will start Sunday’s season opener against the Titans, but it might not be long before Gabbert makes his debut. The No. 10 overall pick out of Missouri wasn’t impressive in the preseason, while McCown was solid in limited action. Still, the leash on him might be shorter than the one that choked Garrard, who the team must have concluded wasn’t going to get them over the top. Regardless of the rationale behind the move, the organization can claim that they cut Garrard because they’re that confident in Gabbert, which can only help the 21-year-old gain confidence.
Garrard is coming off the second-best statistical season of his career. He isn’t exactly Mr. Consistent, but a 90.8 passer rating, a 64.5 completion percentage and a 7.5 average per attempt is good enough to start in several NFL cities, including Miami, San Francisco, Cincinnati and Washington right now. South Florida seems like the most logical landing spot for Garrard — the Dolphins expressed interest in Kyle Orton on the trade market but Denver’s price tag was too high.
This news comes only 24 hours after we learned that Jacksonville’s division rival, Indianapolis, would be without all-world quarterback Peyton Manning for an indefinite amount of time. And suddenly, the AFC South is sort of a mess. And the Texans and Titans are smiling.