After being inexplicably released by the Jacksonville Jaguars at the beginning of the 2011 season, David Garrard was fully expecting that he would be picked up by another NFL team. Now, a full five weeks into the season, with every indication that he was going to sit out the remainder of the year, Garrard finally dropped Garrard from his fantasy football team on Wednesday.
Garrard had selected the former Jaguars signal caller in the sixth round of his draft. A long shot he admits, given his free agency status before the season, but the other owners of his league understood the choice.
“I totally understand his pick,” said Garrard’s Yahoo! Fantasy League commissioner and Jaguars Quarterback coach Mike Sheppard. “First there’s the loyalty issue. David’s a huge Jaguars fan. Then there’s the fact that everyone pretty much thought that Garrard would immediately be picked up by another team after we [the Jaguars] dropped him to avoid paying his expected $8 million salary this year.”
Introduced as the team’s starting quarterback at the Jaguars’ downtown kickoff luncheon in September, Garrard, who went to the Pro Bowl last year, was expected by most pundits to lead a strong Jacksonville team and put up respectable fantasy numbers. And then the Jag’s starting quarterback was let go.
Often fantasy owners will keep successful players who have been released by a team on the off chance that they may picked up and continue their previous track record. But when rumors surfaced that talks with the Miami Dolphins fell through, it became all too clear to Garrard that his backup quarterback for his Garrarrrrd’s Pirates fantasy football team would not be available for the season.
“When the Dolphins deal didn’t work out, I figured I needed to look for another quarterback, with the bye weeks starting to impact rosters and all,” said Garrard who slotted himself as a backup to Aaron Rodgers.
“All I know is that when week 8 comes around and Green Bay is on their bye week and Rogers is unavailable, I’ll need someone to put up some points,” said Garrard, who will be facing Brewster’s Gazillions, last year’s league champion, that weekend.
When asked if he would be open to picking up Blaine Gabbert, the rookie now starting in Jacksonville, Garrard cringed.
“He’s a great kid but there’s probably six or seven quarterbacks still available in our league to choose from who are performing a little better than Blaine right now,” Garrard said. “Plus, that would be a bit weird.”
While Garrard is still owned by 2 percent of fantasy teams across all Yahoo leagues, many expected Garrard to drop himself earlier in the season when he didn’t have another team already lined up to sign him. Although Garrard typically places in the top third of his league every year, many of the other owners admit that decisions like keeping himself on the roster this long is what keeps him from winning a championship.
“David is his own worst enemy,” Sheppard said recalling last year when Garrard hastily dropped himself from his team after a disappointing performance against San Diego where he only threw for 173 yards and had four interceptions. “He was really down on himself. You should have seen his comments on the league message board.”
During that game against San Diego, Garrard could be seen screaming at the stadium monitors as he watched his match-up against Jacksonville equipment manager Marshall Brewster, slip through his fingers.
“I had it in the bag and only needed to rack up maybe six or seven points to get the win,” Garrard said.
“I mean, we’re talking only a clean 200 yard game, maybe a touchdown, if that. All those interceptions just killed me,” Garrard said of his fantasy team’s performance as well as his Jacksonville Jaguars, who ended up losing the game to the Chargers 13-38.
The erratic play of the 9-year pro out of East Carolina University was mirrored by his team management as he picked himself back up again after a stellar outing against Dallas just five weeks later.
“You can always count on that guy to give you a lot of highs and lows,” Garrard said of last season’s performance. “Garrard gave me a good run but I just need to cut my losses and move on to a more consistent signal-caller. . .and one who is actually playing this year.”