In a move that nobody except the Jacksonville Jaguars saw coming, veteran quarterback David Garrard was released on Tuesday.
Garrard was thought to have been the starting quarterback heading into the Jaguars’ first game this weekend, but the Jaguars obviously felt otherwise. On Monday, it became apparent that Garrard’s teammates were not confident in his ability, as they did not elect him to be a team captain, a position he had held in the past.
Since a breakout season in 2007 in which Garrard threw 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions, he has failed to live up to expectations. Over the past three season, he threw for 53 touchdowns, but 38 interceptions. His 38 interceptions averages out to just over 12 per year, which is too high of a number for a veteran quarterback.
By releasing the former pro bowl quarterback, the Jaguars will save about $9 million this season. The opening of that much cap space for the team means that the Jaguars will likely work to have ample cap room in the future in order to build around 2011 first-round pick, Blaine Gabbert.
While Gabbert is in the Jaguars’ long-term plan, head coach Jack Del Rio decided to go with veteran quarterback Luke McCown as the team’s starting quarterback. McCown outplayed both Garrard and Gabbert during the preseason, completing 12 of 18 passes for 133 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions.
While the release of Garrard was quite a surprise, it may not be that bad of a move for the Jaguars. The team can start McCown for most of the season and if the team is out of the playoff hunt by mid-November, they can give Gabbert some playing time in his rookie season.