If the old saying is true and a man really is only as good as his word, then David Garrard is going to heaven. Or at least that’s what the Oakland Raiders front office would say if they had any input on the matter.
The Miami Dolphins may not be quite as kind, choosing instead to send Garrard to the fiery depths of hell.
Seeking to be a good football Samaritan, Garrard picked up the phone when the Raiders threw their life line in his direction and said he can’t be their quarterback. But his reasoning this time had nothing to do with money, or playing time, or his general desire to actually play football.
Nope, this time he’s hurt, and he wanted to be a true, honest, genuine gentleman and disclose his injury to the Raiders before they signed him to play a football game that he couldn’t play.
Jason La Canfora followed up Glazer’s report that Garrard will need immediate surgery by talking to his agent Albert Irby, who said the former Jaguars quarterback will now be out four-to-six weeks. This is a 33-year-old free agent who was cut a month ago and whose value is restricted to being a flimsy bridge to a young quarterback (a role that he evidently wasn’t qualified for in Jacksonville in front of Blaine Gabbert), or an emergency injury replacement.
If the emergency injury replacement is injured when there’s an emergency, his season is over, even if Garrard has some miraculous quick recovery and is able to play this year. Any team that even considers signing a veteran stop-gap needs to be confident in that player’s ability to fulfill two simple yet vital responsibilities: stay healthy until the regular starter returns from injury and don’t screw anything up too royally. A back injury is always delicate, but it’s especially worrisome for a quarterback, which kills any trust general managers may have had in an unemployed Garrard.
So now that we’ve established that we’ve seen the last of Garrard in 2011 before we saw any of Garrard in 2011, let’s hop in our NFL time machine. Don’t crank the dial too far though, we’re only going back nine days.
Here’s what Garrard said to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen last Saturday when asked to explain why he turned down an opportunity to play for Miami when Chad Henne pulled a Jason Campbell:
“I talked to them in the very beginning — they were one of the teams that were very interested. But they basically said, ‘We want to give our guy (Henne) a chance, see how he performs and if we don’t like way it goes, we’ll make a move.’ Then it comes when (Henne) unfortunately gets hurt. My feeling is if you want me, prove it to me.”
It gets better.
“They were not willing to guarantee me the kind of money that reflects a real commitment and what I believe would protect me from being cut twice in one season. That doesn’t mean I’m one of those players who thinks I’m worthy of another big pay day. My thoughts are the money I did want guaranteed the rest of the year was miniscule with respect to what I accomplished over my career. It wasn’t outrageous.”
So Garrard wanted to feel wanted. Fair enough, even if his perception of his value is insane and asinine.
What’s troubling though is that Garrard essentially held out for more money while knowing that he’s damaged goods from an injury suffered at least six weeks prior, and then only a short time later decided be gentle and kind with the Raiders and declare himself out of commission.
Don’t worry, Raiders fans. Kyle Boller has a hot wife, and if I learned anything while watching Moneyball it’s that athletes with hot wives are confident in their abilities.