FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) - Quarterback David Garrard officially retired Thursday after being placed on the reserve-retired list by the New York Jets.
The move was expected after Garrard told the team two weeks ago that his surgically repaired left knee kept swelling up on him after workouts. The 35-year-old Garrard, signed by the Jets in March, was expected to provide competition at the quarterback spot for both Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith. But, Garrard hadn't played in a regular-season game in the NFL since 2010 because of injuries.
"Obviously, we knew he wasn't going to be the same guy that he was eight years ago, but he was impressive," coach Rex Ryan said. "In the workout, he was impressive. There's no question. We were excited about him. For him to get in there and compete, we thought that would be a good thing. Unfortunately, it didn't work out."
After appearing to be the front-runner ahead of rookie Ryan Tannehill and veteran Matt Moore, the former Jacksonville Jaguars star was cut by the Miami Dolphins last summer after he needed arthroscopic surgery on his knee.
There were some who thought there was a good chance Garrard, if healthy, could beat out both Sanchez and Smith for the starting job.
"Again, there was always going to be competition," Ryan said. "We weren't going to say, `He's going to start.' And that fact hasn't changed. There's competition. Were we bringing him in to compete? Sure, certainly, but it's not like we're surprised that there would be a chance that this would happen, that he wouldn't be able to get through.
"It wasn't that we were blindsided by the fact he felt he couldn't play anymore."
Garrard was a fourth-round pick of Jacksonville in 2002, and became the team's full-time starter in 2007. He threw for 16,003 yards in his career, with 89 touchdowns and 54 interceptions. Garrard, who also had 17 career rushing touchdowns, has said he was asked by the Jets to work as an "intern" with the team's quarterbacks. He is considering that, as well as returning to college to finish his degree or pursuing a radio or TV gig as a football analyst.
In another roster move, the Jets signed veteran wide receiver Ben Obomanu, a former seventh-round pick by Seattle in 2006. He had 87 receptions for 1,209 yards with seven touchdowns in six seasons for the Seahawks.