The New York Jets have added yet another piece of furniture to their game of musical chairs at the quarterback position, signing nine-year veteran David Garrard today after having earlier brought him in for a workout.
In addition to Mark Sanchez, that also leaves Tim Tebow and Greg McElroy as potential candidates for the starting quarterback position entering the 2013 season. The Jets also have Matt Simms, the son of former New York Giant Phil Simms, on the roster.
It is widely believed, of course, that Tebow is not expected to be on the team in 2013, so chances are Garrard, who has quite a bit of veteran experience, could be the chief competition that Sanchez must hold off to maintain his starting spot.
Sanchez has accounted for over 50 turnovers over the past two seasons, and the Jets have failed to reach the playoffs both times. The team reached the AFC Championship game in each of his first two seasons, but they have not been back to the playoffs since.
The Jets’ new offensive coordinator, Marty Morhinweg, intimated that Sanchez would have the “leg up” in the quarterback battle entering training camp, and perhaps that is true, but equally likely is that that advantage does not amount to much.
Both Sanchez and Garrard will be entering a new offensive system under Mornhinweg. In fact, this will be the third new offensive regime in three seasons after Tony Sparano’s one-year stint in New York in 2012.
Garrard has a good deal of in-game experience, and his career quarterback rating easily bests Sanchez’s top season, when he had a rating of 78.2 in 2011.
Garrard, a New Jersey native, has made 86 career starts, all with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has a 61.6 completion percentage and over 16,000 passing yards at 7.02 yards per attempt with 89 touchdowns versus 54 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 85.8. He has been out of football for two seasons now, however, which is certainly a cause for concern. The preseason should be interesting this year.
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