Saturday, 17 March 2012

Should, or Would the Packers Consider David Garrard?

While the NFL free agency flurry continues to deliver haymakers of excitement and surprise, some teams just don’t seem to be interested in this year’s potential list of signees. That list, the one that features everyone from Peyton Manning down to Brandon Lloyd, seems to grow narrower by the day, not that the Green Bay Packers seem to care in the slightest.

If you thought Ted Thompson was keeping his usual pre-draft guessing game open, you’d be right. Chances are the Packers keep their hands warm until April 26, recruit a center to replace the newly departed Scott Wells, and pretend like the need for a backup quarterback was never a concern.

But as we move towards the butt-end of the free agency signing period next week, maybe the Packers could pinch an overnight deal – all the while Matt Flynn and Peyton Manning continue to stand each other off in the fight between Tennessee, San Francisco, Denver and Miami.

If that deal was to happen, and the Packers were to reach out to somebody, it could very well be David Garrard. Because if nothing else, he provides some insurance if Aaron Rodgers is to experience that inevitable “injury year” every great quarterback must go through.

Case and point:

  • ·         Fresh off back surgery, Garrard’s athleticism is an open ended query for every onlooker interested. That being beside the point for now, Garrard always had a skillset that was often unmatched in Jacksonville pre-Blaine Gabbert era -- the only problem was, it came in hot and cold spurts.
  • ·         Arm issues and athleticism aside however, there’s a motivation side to this whole thing. Even before Gabbert came along, Garrard was responsible for turning a 5-11 Jaguars team in 2008, into an 8-8 playoff contender in 2010. His dedication in training camps have been well noted, along with his leadership and communication between wide receivers.
  • ·         Believe it or not, Garrard also appears to be comfortable accepting his role as a backup now. While the back surgery hasn’t slowed him down, competing for a starting role in an already overcrowded team isn’t an option. Slipping into a backup role with a team like the Packers and seeing the rest of his career out, appears to be the better option.
  • ·         The other options the Packers have to consider aren’t flattering. Unless Green Bay wish to go for broke and take their chances with Graham Harrell (who was cut from the 53 man roster last year), that leaves only Vince Young and Chad Henne among some other no-names.

Garrard threw for 2734 yards during his final year in Jacksonville, and had 23 touchdowns to go with it. Garrard’s player agent told reporters that he expects Garrard to become a “hot quarterback” once Peyton Manning settles into a new home anytime soon, and when that happens, most believe that Flynn will follow suit.

But can the Packers really wait on Manning like that?

Obviously not, even if San Francisco or Denver are willing to.

Garrard, among others are available to ensure the protection of the Packers quarterback spot. If only Ted Thompson makes the first move.

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