Shocking because they're surprised that the team finally did what it should have done months ago.
ESPN's Paul Kuharsky said the move was "stunning."
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports called it a "shocker."
I say it was long overdue.
Garrard's play, conditioning and efficiency had been gradually slipping for some time and the proverbial handwriting was placed on the wall when the Jaguars selected Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall selection of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Once the team had a franchise quarterback, it became only a matter of time until Garrard was canned. The popular perception was that the team would keep him for the season and let Gabbert learn.
But three things happened.
1.) Gabbert looked decent as a rookie in the preseason and showed a lot of promise. Enough to at least be a backup quarterback anyway.
2.) Garrard, who is owed more than $8 million this year, came in to camp out of shape and looked mediocre at best during three exhibition contests.
3.) Luke McCown had the best camp of any quarterback. He is/was the best overall quarterback on the roster.
The final point became painfully clear after McCown looked awfully efficient versus the Atlanta Falcons in the second game of the preseason. So much so that it prompted me to say he deserved a promotion.
At the time I thought Gabbert would possibly earn the starting role by the end of the preseason. He didn't, but the point was that McCown was playing well enough for the Jaguars to move on without Garrard.
Garrard, 33, hasn't been a top quarterback since his first year as a starter in 2007 when he led the Jaguars to the postseason. Ever since he has been a slightly above-average player with the inability to play at a consistently high level.
The telltale sign that Garrard wasn't long for this team was when he was not named a starter on Monday. Common sense would tell you that the veteran quarterback should be the unquestioned leader of the team.
At the end of the day though, Garrard wasn't a leader. He wasn't a guy working hard to improve or save his roster spot. And after not logging an above .500 season since 2007, he didn't even turn out to be a winner, which is something I at least thought he was a couple years a go.
It's all a bit disappointing, but true, and it's something that really shouldn't be surprising when looking at everything that was working against Garrard.
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