Jets sign QB David Garrard, place him on exempt list

By Ryan Wilson |

Seven months later, David Garrard is back with the Jets. (USATSI)

The stakes aren't quite what they were when this first happened back in March but the headline remains the same: The Jets have signed 35-year-old quarterback David Garrard.

This time, though, it's not to compete for a starting job. Garrard has been placed on the exempt list for two games, and the Jets can use that time to decide whether to activate him.

For now, Garrard is back with the team five months after he retired -- and seven months after he originally signed with New York -- due to knee problems.

“I was able to take the whole summer off and let my body heal," Garrard told the Jets' web site. "I started training a couple of months ago and my knee feels great. I'm sitting at home, watching games thinking, ‘Why am I at home? Why I am doing this to myself?' I didn't want to have any regrets one day.”

So how did the reunion come about?

“I reached out to [Jets general manager] Mr. Idzik,” Garrard said. “He has given me another chance, so it's truly a blessing.”

This latest development in an always-evolving Jets quarterback situation comes a day after coach Rex Ryan said "Mark Sanchez is not dead. … [He] is going to be 100 percent healthy, guys. It's not like his career's over.”

Garrard or not, Sanchez, who had season-ending shoulder surgery last week (thanks, Rex!), has almost certainly played his last game for the Jets.

Meanwhile, rookie Geno Smith, fresh off AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors, is the Jets' unquestioned starter. And for now, his backups include Matt Simms and Brady Quinn. Whether that changes will depend on how Garrard, who last took a regular-season NFL snap in Dec. 2010, looks over the next couple weeks.

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