It’s a transaction that shouldn’t come as a surprise, although the timing of the move came a little bit sooner than expected.
Garrard, 33, had struggled with his consistency in recent years and was owed $9 million this season. His play this preseason (50 percent completion percentage with 216 yards passing, no touchdowns and an interception) seemed indicative of the 2011 season that was ahead of him.
Signs pointed to Garrard being on his way out when the Jaguars spent the 10th over selection of the 2011 NFL Draft on Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The rookie looked solid this preseason and even started for an injured Garrard in the first exhibition game versus the New England Patriots.
What likely made Garrard expendable though was the preseason play of backup Luke McCown. The 30-year-old McCown seemed calmed and collected in a reserve role, and was the only quarterback on the roster to lead the Jaguars on consistent scoring drives this past month.
In what can only be described as ironic, Garrard became the starter in Jacksonville in an eerily similar scenario in 2007. The Jaguars weren’t pleased with the play of then starter Byron Leftwich and Garrard had a fantastic preseason. So right before the season began, head coach Jack Del Rio decided to cut Leftwich and start Garrard.
That move paid off as the Jaguars as the team made it to the playoffs and beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the post season.
Now Del Rio is hoping on this gamble cane save his job like it did in 2007.
McCown is expected to start the season opener against Tennessee on Sunday, according to ESPN. Gabbert will be McCown’s backup but should see the field multiple times this season.
Tags: Blaine Gabbert, cut, David Garrard, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Luke McCown, NFL
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