Garrard To Be Released

After four mediocre seasons as the team's starting quarterback, David Garrard will be released from the Jaguars organization. The timing is surprising to some, but if you paid attention to the writing was clearly on the wall.

Although Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio repeatedly claimed that David Garrard was his starting quarterback this summer, his poor play was just too much to ignore for an organization that is looking to move forward.

To those who are surprised, Del Rio has a history of making rash decisions with his quarterbacks. The Jaguars released then starting quarterback Byron Leftwich nine days prior to the season opener, which was certainly a surprise.

This decision shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has watched the Jaguars.

David Garrard struck gold in 2007 when handed the starting job and through a powerful running game and solid defense Garrard didn't lose games for the team. When teams adjusted by stacking up to stop the running game, Garrard's deficiencies as a passer came to light.

"He's an elite backup," a high ranking NFL executive told JagNation last season when asked about Garrard.

Another claimed that the Jaguars were the "easiest team in the NFL to game plan against," knowing that there is no threat of a down-field passing game, regardless of who they line up at wide receiver.

After two disappointing seasons in 2008 and 2009 including an atrocious December record, Garrard was put on notice in 2010. Since the team didn't have a younger player to promote competition, Garrard was handed the starting job even though new starter Luke McCown was clearly better in training camp and preseason.

This year the Jaguars went out of their way to get better at the position by trading up to draft Blaine Gabbert.

Here's a JagNation story about why they needed to move on from last month

With Garrard's job clearly on the line, he did nothing to earn the starting nod, completing just 19 of 38 throws for 216 yards, no touchdowns and one interception this preseason. Looking at the film, anyone can see that Garrard clearly regressed since signing his six-year, $60 million contract after the 2007 season.

Garrard's post-game antics which include passing blame better than footballs clearly grew tired with his teammates and the coaching staff.

Aside from the nearly $8 million savings of not paying Garrard's contract, this move gave the Jaguars fans a reason to believe that change is forthcoming.

Jacksonville will turn the keys to their offensive Ferrari (well, perhaps it's more of a Cobalt) over to veteran Luke McCown. McCown has been the best quarterback in two consecutive training camps and will finally get his starting chance, even if it seems temporary as Blaine Gabbert is waiting in the wings.

Charlie Bernstein is the NFL Insider for ESPN 1080 and 1040 in Orlando/Tampa and the host of "The Sports Crunch" on the Aquarius 7 Broadcasting Network (national), and Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for FoxSports and has been featured on the NFL Network and Sirius NFL Radio. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. You can follow Charlie on Twitter @nflcharlie

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