The Jets quarterback competition officially became four on Thursday morning with the team placing David Garrard on the reserve/retired list.
Garrard told Adam Schein of NFL.com via a text message two weeks ago that he was planning to retire but an official announcement was lacking until Thursday morning. With the official roster move, the veteran quarterback is no longer in the mix and his career is likely over. The former Jaguars star hasn’t played in a regular season game since 2010 due to knee injuries.
“Unfortunately it didn’t work out. It’s one of those things that sometimes before the skill level leaves you, sometimes it is harder to recover,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “When you get older, it is harder to recover. I think that’s what it was more than anything else.”
Sources tell Metro New York that Garrard was in pain during offseason workouts and that his knee injury severely hampered him on the field and affected his movement, including his ability to throw and his pocket presence.
Garrard came to the Jets this offseason to compete with incumbent starter Mark Sanchez. But with the Jets taking Geno Smith in the second round of last month’s NFL Draft and with Matt Simms and Greg McElroy already on the roster, the need for Garrard became less pressing.
In fact, sources say Sanchez and Smith were both ahead of Garrard on the team’s quarterback depth chart before the veteran decided to retire.
“I don’t know how much it changes the dynamic, with the one major exception that the reps he was going to get are now obviously shipped out differently now,” Ryan said. “It was something that, obviously, David had two years off but when we brought him in for the workout, the physical, we thought ‘Let’s give this a shot.’ We knew he wasn’t going to be the same guy eight years ago or something like that. But he was impressive. In the workout, he was impressive. There’s no question we were excited about him to come in and compete.”
With the open roster slot, the Jets signed former Seahawks wide receiver Ben Obomanu. During his six years in Seattle, Obomanu had 87 receptions for 1,209 yards with seven touchdowns.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.