Monday, April 7, 2008
Daily Boutros: David Garrard
In a league where nothing is guaranteed except old white male ownership, franchise quarterbacks are hard to come by. Out of 32 teams in the NFL, I would say that as of today, there are only three who can claim this generation's Golden Arm: New England, with Tom Brady, Indianapolis, with Peyton Manning, and Minnesota, with Tarvaris Jackson.
After those gentlemen, there is a second tier of high talent that has yet to yield the ultimate success: Carson Palmer, Marc Bulger, Jay Cutler, Derek Anderson, Matt Hasselbeck. The rest of the league's field generals are virtually interchangeable. Would anyone notice if Chad Pennington and Alex Smith traded places? Brodie Croyle and Rex Grossman? Matt Leinart and Joey Harrington?
One of the pleasant surprises at QB last season was Jaguars journeyman David Garrard, a career backup whom many around the country believed deserved a chance to start. There was just something about him.
He got his shot at the numero uno and he performed most admirably, finishing third in the league (and somehow third in the AFC) in passer rating (102.2) and leading the Teal Panthers to the AFC Divisional Playoffs where they lost to Tom Dreamboat and the Boston Evils.
Well, today, Garrard was rewarded for his 2007 performance with the richest contract in Jaguars franchise history. At age 30, Garrard is young for the position and could play for another ten seasons or so. Hopefully he will do so at the same level of production that he did in 2007.