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Jets' QB David Garrard to retire due to knee problems

By Eye on Football staff | CBSSports.com

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Quarterback David Garrard, who signed in March, plans to retire. (USATSI)

The Jets' quarterback competition became a little less cluttered on Wednesday when news broke that David Garrard, Mark Sanchez's supposed backup QB, planned to retire.

Garrard, 35, only signed with the Jets in March, but persistent problems with his left knee ultimately forced the veteran to call it quits.

Garrard hadn't appeared in a game for the past two NFL seasons, but the Jets were counting on Garrard to both challenge Sanchez for the position and mentor second-round draft pick Geno Smith.

Having recently released Tim Tebow, the Jets will now have to decide which quarterback, the incumbent or the rookie, will handle New York's offense. The Jets also have QBs Greg McElroy and Matt Simms on the roster, but it's really a two-horse race, barring injuries.

The safety plan that was Garrard would've afforded the Jets some leeway in regards to Sanchez. Garrard's decision will likely force the Jets to keep Sanchez for the time being instead of releasing or trading the underperforming signal caller.

As of two weeks ago, Garrard was presumed healthy enough to compete for the starting job. According to the New York Times, Garrard declared himself, “definitely healthy.”

But in a text message to Adam Schein of SiriusXM radio, Garrard reportedly said, “Having to call it quits. My knee is not holding up. Continuing to swell after practices. Limiting what I can do.”

In nine seasons with the Jaguars, Garrard threw for 16,003 yards, 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions. He also made the Pro Bowl in 2009.

For more NFL news, follow Mike Singer on Twitter @RealMikeSinger.

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