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David Garrard is Miami's pickup at quarterback, like it or not

March 20, 2012|By Chuck Schilken
  • David Garrard, a nine-year veteran, has spent his entire pro career with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
David Garrard, a nine-year veteran, has spent his entire pro career with… (Chris McGrath / Getty Images )

David Garrard appears to be the answer in Miami. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, the question was, "What quarterback do you sign when all your other choices have gone elsewhere?"

That's not a slam on Garrard, who signed a one-year contract with the Dolphins on Monday and was told he'd be able to compete for the starting job. The nine-year veteran who has spent his entire pro career with the Jacksonville Jaguars could end up being a great pickup for the team if fully recovered from back surgery last October.

After all, this is a guy who threw 18 touchdown passes and only three interceptions in 2007, passed for more than 3,500 yards in 2008 and 2009 and also made the Pro Bowl in 2009.

But it's just not the splashy move the Dolphins were looking to make at quarterback this off-season. They pursued the top free agents at the position -- Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn -- and were spurned by both.

They brought in Alex Smith, another free agent who appeared to be in limbo with the 49ers during the Manning saga. But Smith's job seems to be secure in San Francisco once again.

The Dolphins won't be getting a highly coveted quarterback with the eighth pick in the draft either. Not with the Indianapolis Colts seemingly locked in on Stanford's Andrew Luck at No. 1 and the Washington Redskins moving up to No. 2, presumably to pick Baylor's Robert Griffin III.

Basically there just weren't enough big name quarterbacks to go around. So the Dolphins turned to Garrard, a guy they initially pursued last season when they lost then-starter Chad Henne to a shoulder injury. But Garrard, who was cut by the Jaguars five days before the season started, opted to get his back fixed instead.

Matt Moore ended up starting the rest of the season for the Dolphins and did pretty well, going 6-6 while completing 60.5% of his passes for 2,497 yards with 16 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

So maybe the Dolphins will be fine with a little healthy competition among Garrard, Moore and anyone else they might pick up (they might draft someone and, don't forget, Tim Tebow might soon be available).

“It's going to be a great competition, and I'm all about that,” Garrard said. “I'm going to do my best to make sure it's me on opening day.”

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