Jets

Silverman: Mediocrity Would Be An Improvement, So Jets Must Give Garrard A Shot

David Garrard (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

David Garrard (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

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By Steve Silverman
» More Columns

The Jets go into the offseason with perhaps the worst quarterback situation of any team in Roger Goodell’s 32-team league.

Perhaps the Arizona Cardinals are just as awful, but the Mark Sanchez/Tim Tebow combination is about as hopeless as it gets.

Normally, the possibility of upgrading the position through free agency exists, but not this year. You may have heard that Joe Flacco re-upped with the Super Bowl-champion Baltimore Ravens. He was never going anywhere else.

Unless Kevin Kolb does anything for you, there’s nothing among last year’s NFL quarterbacks that would help the Jets get better.

The Jets looked at David Garrard, who did not play in 2011 or last year. Garrard was the lead quarterback in Dolphins camp early in the summer, but a knee injury put him on the shelf, just as a herniated disc had caused him to miss action the year before.

This is how bad the Jets’ situation is. They are looking at a career overachiever from East Carolina who hasn’t even played the last two seasons. He may be their best option for the 2013 season.

Garrard, 35, completed 236-of-366 passes for 2,734 yard with 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 2010 with the offensively-challenged Jacksonville Jaguars.

Garrard can read defenses. He does not have great arm strength, but he can get the ball to the sidelines and throw the out pattern. He can look across the line of scrimmage and pick out the weak link and exploit it.

That makes him a much better option than Sanchez or anyone else on the roster.

The question with Garrard is his health. He is not going to wow anyone with athletic ability, but in the past he was able to withstand a big hit, stay upright and then extend the play.

Can he still take the big hit? If he can, is he able to get away from the pass rush and allow the play to continue?

If you are dubious, you should be. Garrard never dominated with his talent; he simply got the most out of his limited ability.

It is probably fair to assume that he does not have the same athleticism that he had 10 years ago. He was never brilliant in that regard anyway.

So if the Jets want to step up at the quarterback position, it appears they will have to depend on a player who has been injured the past two years. The odds are against short-term success.

Long-term success with Garrard would be all but impossible.

But the one thing he can give you that Rex Ryan should be happy about is that he has a track record of honesty and consistency. If Garrard is out on the field, he is not looking to take the easy pass to up his completion percentage or blame others for his failings.

He is a real quarterback who can get on a roll and make throws.

He is not elite, but a quarterback who is near the top of the mediocre list would be a big improvement.

This year’s quarterback draft class does not have an Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson or Robert Griffin III. Geno Smith and Matt Barkley are not close to finished products.

The Jets have given Garrard a workout. If they see any kind of talent, they should sign him and give him the chance to beat out the stiffs that are still on the roster.

Do you agree, or should the Jets stay away from Garrard? Sound off with your thoughts and comments below…