No More Head in the Sand Approach
David Garrard (Getty Images)
David Garrard (Getty Images)
Contributor
Posted Dec 29, 2009
Alfie Crow


Following the 2007 season, David Garrard signed a multi-year $60 million dollar contract to be the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise quarterback for the present and the future. The news left some fans elated and others were bothered, feeling that the Jaguars jumped the gun on declaring the previously back-up quarterback a franchise quarterback.

To quote ESPN's Bill Simmons, “In retrospect, David Garrard’s $60 million extension would be like NBC giving Andy Samberg $60 million right after 'Dick In a Box.' You might have wanted to let that one breathe a little, Jacksonville.” It’s hard to say now that truer words have never been spoken. The Jaguars rushed to give David Garrard a contract to squelch the miniature schism that was within it’s fan base after having just released Byron Leftwich.

Since the contract was signed, the truth came out about Garrard. The Jaguars "franchise quarterback" wound up becoming what several knew he was all along: A back up quarterback who’s a mediocre starter. Since 2006, David Garrard has started the majority of the games for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and in that tenure his record as a starter is 26-26, including two late season meltdowns in which the team was 8-5 and primed for the playoffs (2006) and 7-5 primed for the playoffs (2009). In 2006 the Jaguars limped to an 8-8 record by dropping their final three games to miss the playoffs. This season, the Jaguars have currently lost three games in a row, and now sit with a 7-8 mark and are an extreme long shot to make the playoffs.

"It's so far-fetched to talk about the playoffs'' Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio said.

Since Garrard became a starter in 2006, he has a 7-10 record in December (3-1 in 2007).

At this point in his career, it’s safe to say David Garrard is not going to get much better than what he is. He had a career year in 2007 behind one of the most dominant rushing attacks in the NFL. Every year previous and after that, he’s been mediocre at best and often crumbles when it matters.

In the 2010 season, David Garrard is due in the ballpark of $9-10 million in salary, which is close to what he was making this season. The Jaguars no longer owe Garrard any guaranteed money, which means he could be released with minimal impact on the salary cap. As it stands right now, the Jacksonville Jaguars hold the 15th overall pick in the upcoming draft, and if they lose in Cleveland to the Browns this Sunday, they could jump as high as 10th overall.

Everyone can see where this is going. This franchise has ignored the quarterback position for far too long. The Jaguars have not drafted a quarterback since 2003, when they selected Byron Leftwich with the 7th overall pick. They are the longest tenured team to not draft a quarterback in the entire NFL. It appears as if that position will finally be addressed in the upcoming draft, most likely in the first round.



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