David Garrard always was a long shot to make it to the regular season, much less the starting lineup. His body failed him for two seasons running, and that's a trend that doesn't often turn around for 35-year-old NFL players.
The New York Jets have promoted the idea of an open competition at quarterback all offseason, but Garrard was a big underdog in the race before telling NFL.com's Adam Schein in a text message Wednesday that he would retire. It's hardly a devastating blow for the Jets. Signing Garrard was a long shot worth taking, but his retirement does impact the rest of the Jets' quarterback depth chart.
Mark Sanchez: The Jets will have a harder time dumping Sanchez now. That, more than anything, is the biggest takeaway from Wednesday's news. Sanchez is due $8 million guaranteed, and no other team will take on that money, but it was conceivable that the Jets could find a taker willing to pay the quarterback a small portion of that salary and a low-level conditional draft pick.
More importantly, Garrard's presence gave the Jets a better chance to start Geno Smith without the distraction of Sanchez on the roster. It's still possible the Jets could dump Sanchez, but that will be tougher now.
Brandt: Setting the record straight
Gil Brandt picks out five rookies with their fair share of doubters -- and a good shot at proving their critics wrong. **More ...**
Geno Smith: There isn't a huge impact for Smith. He was going to start in Week 1 based on his own merit, not on how Garrard looked. Smith loses a potential veteran-sounding board in the quarterback room, though.
Greg McElroy: It's hard to imagine McElroy not making the Jets' roster now. The team also has Matt Simms on its offseason roster, but he doesn't appear to have a long-term NFL future.