Right up until the first week of training camp, Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard was expected to be the team's starter this season. That plan was derailed by an off-field knee injury right before the preseason opener. With first-round pick Ryan Tannehill winning the starting quarterback job, the Dolphins may not keep both Garrard and incumbent starter Matt Moore on the 53-man roster at the start of the season.
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"My only thing is, hopefully my name is on the 53-man roster when it's game day," Garrard said. "If not, I just got to be ready to do something somewhere else."
"I'm just trying to be smart as I can without delaying myself too much," Garrard said, later noting that he had never dealt with a knee injury before. "I'm not going to force myself to do anything to hurt myself in the long run, period. Wherever, if it's here or somewhere else."
NFL teams have until 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday to be under the salary cap, which will not be an issue for the Dolphins. Instead, their front office will be concerned with how much cash Garrard and Moore are due this season. Combined, the veteran quarterbacks are due $5 million in base salary -- $2.75 million for Moore, $2.25 million for Garrard -- an amount that will become fully guaranteed if they're both on the 53-man roster at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday.
From an incentives standpoint, a source with knowledge of both contracts says Moore could earn up to an additional $500,000 this season, while Garrard could bank an additional $1.5 million. Of course, those figures would be moot if Tannehill goes through the full season as the starter.