Jets to Usher in Youth Movement With 35-Year-Old, Once-Retired QB

Categories: Jockbeat

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Just when you think it can't get any weirder in Gang Green land...

The Jets recently cut linebacker Bart Scott (age 32), defensive end Calvin Pace (also age 32), DB Eric Smith (age 29) and OT Jason Smith (26). You figure with the first three it's a youth movement thing, since they are past what would be considered their physical peak and are old in football years. (Jason Smith scarcely played with the Jets last year.)
Okay, it may be wrong-headed, but it's at least it's a plan: the Jets are launching a youth movement. The release of all four might also be seen as a move to make some salary cap space -- they created $38.7 million in cap relief. That angle, though, is a bit more difficult to figure. These cuts put them just $8 million under the cap, and, let's remember, all four of those guys are going to have to be replaced.

Maybe I'm missing something here. But no one can convince me I'm missing something with this incredulous deal the Jets seem to be on the verge of making. "David Garrard Close to Deal with Jets" the headline screamed to me this morning from five different websites. At that moment I felt as one with thousands and thousands of Jets fans who saw the headline and said, "David Garrard? Wow... Who the hell is David Garrard?"

Well you may ask. David Garrard hasn't thrown a football for money in more than two years. He retired, sort of, in 2010 after nine seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is pro football's equivalent of the witness protection program. I swear on my autographed Joe Namath jersey that in the hundreds of pro football games I watched from 2002, Garrard's first year, through 2010, I do not remember ever seeing him or hearing a commentator call out his name.

His stats page on Pro-Football-Reference.com shows that his career record is 39-37 as a starter, that he only completed 89 TD passes against 54 interceptions and posted an unremarkable yards/throw attempt with an unimpressive quarterback rating of 85.8.

All that was with a mediocre Jacksonville team. But the Jets aren't mediocre, they're awful. How exactly does a team that already has three quarterbacks on the roster -- four if you count someone named Matt Simms -- figure that a 35-year-old quarterback who's been out of service for the last two seasons can step in behind perhaps the worst pass blocking line in the league and make the Jets a better team?

Apparently the Jets plan to release Tim Tebow to make room for Garrard on the roster. But why? Tebow is almost ten years younger, doesn't cost much money, and certainly couldn't be any less of a passer.

What else can Garrard do? Do the Jets plan to use him in the Wild-Cat? Or on punt returns?

The decisions made by this team over the last couple of seasons are mind blowing. This is the best new GM John Idzik can do? Wasn't Brett Favre available?

I'll say one thing. If David Garrard's agent gets him a contract with an NFL team, he's got to be the best in the business. And I wish he represented hard working sportswriters.


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