David Garrard has just been signed by the Miami Dolphins. The terms of the contract have not been disclosed to the media at this point. I, like most Dolphins fans, headed into this off-season nearly certain that the Dolphins would make some serious changes at the quarterback position. After patiently waiting, that change arrived.
From a football standpoint I am not entirely upset with the decision to hire Garrard. His career stats, while far from stellar, are serviceable and a clear upgrade over those of former Dolphins QB and current Jacksonville Jaguar, Chad Henne. Garrard is returning to NFL after taking a year off following being cut by the Jags; he is also coming off a back surgery. While these are red flags, Garrard competing against Matt Moore for the starting job may not be a bad idea. Garrard is more accurate than Matt Moore and, with his athleticism, may be better suited for a west coast offense. All the problems I have with the move come from my heart, as a fan.
First off, in a way, it makes the franchise look bad. I am sick of the Dolphins being a media punching bag, but it’s moves like these that give that appearance to national sports pundits. The Dolphins seem to have the desire to improve at the quarter back position. After a rejection from Peyton Manning, passing on Matt Flynn, and a meeting with Alex Smith, the Garrard signing makes Miami look inept. He is not considered to be a top tier free agent quarterback, if the Dolphins do not draft a QB in addition to Matt Moore and David Garrard this will not look like the commitment to QB the organization claims to have. I anticipate them taking a QB in the draft, but at this point with the Dolphins… ya never know.
As of now, I can’t imagine Joe Philbin sitting in Jeff Ireland’s office and requesting the signing of Garrard, but the man has worked with Brett Farve and Aaron Rodgers so maybe he can improve Garrard’s game. As a fan my gut reaction is that this is simply a depth move, it adds a veteran back up QB.
I want to trust Miami’s front office. I am not one that thinks Stephen Ross is a bad owner, he wants to win, he just doesn’t know how yet. I am not one that thinks Jeff Ireland is a bad GM. I think the talk about him being a bad dude from players and turning off free agents is over played and created because the dolphins haven’t been winning. Jeff Ireland has built a solid roster (aside from QB) and has made a few impressive moves. I think Joe Philbin seems to have the football knowledge to help this team; he was about as successful as a coordinator as it gets. Yet, when it comes to the Miami Dolphins front office and quarterback needs I still have trust issues. So, while I can see how the move helps the team from a football standpoint (adding depth by signing a seasoned vet and letting him compete for the starter roll), my heart, that yearns for the Dolphins return to glory and a franchise QB, is telling me this is just another questionable decision.