The latest player to come out of retirement, David Garrard has signed with the New York Jets. The 35-year-old quarterback was placed on the exempt list, giving Gang Green two weeks to choose whether or not to activate him.
Garrard was cut at the beginning of the season, forcing him into his retirement after rookie quarterback Geno Smith was awarded the starting job. Garrard's mid-season signing was made under different circumstances. The aging quarterback is not expected to challenge for the starting position but will be assigned to mentor Smith and foster his progression.
“Geno (Smith) has the job,” Garrard reaffirmed. “If my number is ever called I need to be ready for that. So, my thing is just to help these guys out, him and Matt Simms, and just be as much of a leader as I can in the locker room. if there’s any little tidbits I can give them, any way that I can help them just to continue to evolve as this team’s leader, that’s what I’ll do and do my best at it.”
The signing was made just one day after the Jets announced that Mark Sanchez would be out for the year due to a shoulder injury sustained in the preseason. With the recent emergence of Smith, it is likely that Sanchez has played his last game for Gang Green. Garrard is looking forward to his role as mentor and hopes that he can help Smith transition to the NFL the same was Mark Brunell was there to mentor Garrard in his early years.
“When I was a rookie, everything was flying around and Mark Brunell was really there to help me when I first got to the league, so I want to make sure that I can in turn return the favor to somebody,” said Garrard. “I know there are a few guys with that kind of age, but they haven’t gone through all the different things that I’ve gone through. Any little bit of leadership you can add to a locker room is great.”