The Jaguars released David Garrard on Tuesday. It shouldn't be long before someone signs the veteran quarterback. So which team would be the best fit for Garrard?
<table align="right" width="315px"> <tbody> <tr> <td> <content:static src="/widgets/custom/packages/latest_debates.html"></content:static></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> There was immediate interest in Garrard upon his surprising release, and though there isn't much starting potential right away, he's a coveted No. 2.
Oakland, San Francisco and Miami are all situations where he could come in and push to start, possibly sooner rather than later. If he wants to win right away, going to Baltimore, where only banged-up rookie Tyrod Taylor stands behind Joe Flacco on the depth chart, would be a consideration.
Some are suggesting Seattle but I am told they are not interested at this point. Of the above possibilities, Oakland and Miami would be favorites for me if I was Garrard.
If we're talking the best fit, I'd have to say Miami or Seattle. First off, let's get this clear. If Garrard was still a starting-caliber QB, he'd be in Jacksonville. Coach Jack Del Rio's job is on the line and he has to play the best players. He opted to sign off on releasing Garrard. That should tell you plenty. So Garrard is now a backup, but he's still better than a lot of guys holding clipboards.
In Miami, Chad Henne looked a lot better in the preseason once Brandon Marshall and Reggie Bush got on the field. However, now that games are for real and defenses are going to scheme him differently, will Henne continue to look as good? If not, the Dolphins could use Garrard's experience.
Seattle's quarterback situation is really a question mark. Tarvaris Jackson is the starter but he has a lot to prove. Charlie Whitehurst has proven himself not to be reliable. He's been afforded opportunities the past two seasons to win the starting job and failed. Garrard could be a better option because he could be an adequate starter for a few games, if needed.
The 49ers would be a great fit for Garrard. They utilize a movement-based version of the West Coast offense, which ideally suits his game. They also have a supporting cast that would allow him to thrive. For all of the talk about his mediocre play in Jacksonville, he has never been surrounded by great receivers. With Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and Braylon Edwards in place, Garrard should be more effective. Also, the presence of Frank Gore and a strong offensive line would set Garrard up well to throw off play-action. If Garrard wants an opportunity to rebuild his reputation, he should focus on getting to San Francisco as soon as possible.
The Panthers would be a terrific fit for Garrard. While Cam Newton has captured the imagination of the Carolinas, it never hurts to have excellent tutelage and a veteran backup who can play. While it's universally accepted that the Panthers are starting over and Newton IS the face and future of the franchise, signing Garrard would make sense on many levels. And the fact that he's a Durham, N.C., native and starred at East Carolina, makes it a no-brainer.
Garrard isn't going anywhere to be a backup and probably doesn't even want to hear he can compete for the job. If he's smart, and I believe he is, he'll wait a week or two to see what injuries or poor play opens up a starting job. While Miami, Seattle and Cincinnati could use him right now, a better situation might be available next Tuesday. Kerry Collins got $4 million from the Colts for this season and Garrard has very good numbers when you compare the two quarterbacks.
Keep in mind, defenses will be blitzing like crazy in the first two weeks and quarterbacks are going to take a beating. Garrard will wind up on a contender within a week.