David Garrard pulls out of Jets QB competition, retires

Garrard tweeted a photo of himself signing his contract last night. Credit: Twitter/@davidgarrard9
Garrard tweeted a photo of himself signing his contract in March.
Credit: Twitter/@davidgarrard9

The comeback story of David Garrard didn’t even make it to minicamp.

According to multiple reports, Garrard retired from football Wednesday afternoon just two months after signing with the Jets to battle for the starting quarterback position in the fall. He reportedly told his teammates he would be leaving Wednesday as well.

“Having to call it quits,” Garrard told SiriusXM’s Adam Schein in a text message. “My knee is not holding up.”

Garrard was expected to be a legitimate contender to usurp the starting spot from Mark Sanchez, who has started since his selection in the first round in 2009. Sanchez had his worst season as a pro in 2012 with 13 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. Sanchez was so bad by the end of the season that head coach Rex Ryan decided to bench him in favor of backup Greg McElroy.

McElroy did not stand out in two games against the Chargers and Cardinals. He was 19-of-31 with one touchdown, one interception and one fumble. Still, McElroy will now be in the competition along with 2013 second-round pick Geno Smith and Sanchez.

Garrard last played for the Jaguars in 2012 where he was beat out by Blaine Gabbert as starter. He was in camp with the Dolphins last preseason, but was cut from the roster. He had knee surgery while with the Dolphins in August 2012. He didn’t have a history of knee injuries before that, though he did have back surgery in October 2011.

Wednesday’s retirement may have pre-empted the obvious, one member of Jets management told Metro New York.

“With Mark returning he has the proverbial leg-up and I think Geno showed he can come in and compete and maybe even start,” one member of the Jets’ personnel team told Metro New York. “David was needed when there was no other viable option on the roster other than Mark. Geno comes in as a draft pick and does well and showed at the very least potential. You have a new general manager who is preaching that everyone has to compete. Well, after seeing Geno last week at [rookie] minicamp I think he has the goods to compete with Mark, clearly.

“Nothing really changed with today’s news. I think it was Mark and Geno at the top then everyone else. David never really looked comfortable throwing either so the chance of him being here come Week 1? Rather slim.”

Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.


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