Dolphins Run Out of Options, Sign David Garrard

After striking out in their pursuit of Peyton Manning (never wanted to come to Miami), Matt Flynn (apparently low-balled by the front office) and Alex Smith (will likely now re-sign with San Francisco), the Dolphins turned to their fourth (fifth? sixth?) fall-back option: former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard.

A Pro Bowler in 2010, the 34-year-old was unexpectedly released prior to last season’s opener and missed the entire year with a herniated disc. He declined to sign with Miami last year when he couldn’t land a guaranteed contract, and his current one-year deal is, fittingly enough, fully non-guaranteed.

From 2007 to 2010, Garrard started 58 out of 64 games, completing 62.7 percent of his passes and sporting a respectable 71-to-41 touchdown-to-interception ratio. During the time-span, he also led all QBs with 1,109 rushing yards and tied for second in rushing scores (11). In 2007, Garrard led the Jaguars to an 11-5 record, throwing 18 TD passes and tying an NFL record with only three picks.

But again, he’s 34 and coming off major back surgery.

Through Garrard will reportedly have a chance to compete for the starting job with Matt Moore, the signing likely means the Dolphins will, finally, draft a QB in the first round, with Ryan Tannehill behind mentioned as the most likely possibility.

Perhaps just as importantly, Miami has a gaping hole to fill after the trade that sent WR Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears last week. The deal is more understandable now, given that details have emerged about Marshall’s inexcusable run-in with a woman in a nightclub, but with top-tier WRs Vincent Jackson (Bucs), Brandon Lloyd (Patriots), Mario Manningham (49ers) and Pierre Garcon (Redskins) headed elsewhere, it’s slim pickings on the free agent market. It’s unlikely the team could land restricted free agent Mike Wallace — especially since his Pittsburgh Steelers teammate Ryan Clark Tweeted that “no one” wants to play for the Dolphins, apparently because of GM Jeff Ireland (good times!) — leaving the likes of Brandon Edwards, Early Doucet and (brace yourself) Tedd Ginn, Jr. as the best players available.

Are you excited yet?

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Dolphins Run Out of Options, Sign David Garrard