By Matt Vensel
7:30 AM PDT, September 7, 2011
The Ravens enter Sunday's showdown against the Steelers with two quarterbacks on their active roster: Joe Flacco, a four-year veteran who has never missed a start, and Tyrod Taylor, an untested rookie who is coping with a minor shoulder injury. Hunter Cantwell is running with the practice squad, so he doesn't count.
Despite throwing three interceptions in the preseason, Taylor did enough to win the trust of the coaching staff and keep the team from bringing in a more seasoned quarterback. It also helped his cause that the pickings on the open market were slim. But on Tuesday, a viable option presented itself in the form of David Garrard.
The Jaguars unexpectedly cut Garrard, opting to go with Luke McCown and Blaine Gabbert. They said it was a performance-based move, but they also saved $9 million by letting the 2009 Pro Bowl selection go.
Garrard was mostly mediocre as a starter, but if he signs on with a team as a second-stringer, he would be among the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. The Ravens were in a similar situation last season when they signed former Rams quarterback Marc Bulger to give them depth at the position and peace of mind, too. Might they consider bringing in Garrard as insurance for Flacco?
“Don't be surprised if [the] Ravens take a hard look at David Garrard, who is expected to be released by [the] Jaguars,” our Ravens beat reporter Jamison Hensley wrote on Twitter after the Garrard news broke. “[The] Ravens need [a] veteran backup.”
They were the first team that ESPN’s John Clayton mentioned as potential suitors. Garrard’s agent told The Florida Times-Union on Tuesday that three teams had already inquired about Garrard’s services. Were the Ravens one? Who knows?
The Ravens don’t have much cap space, so money could be an issue if they do show interest in Garrard. If the interest is mutual and a deal is fiscally doable, why wouldn’t the Ravens bring him in?
I like Taylor’s potential, and maybe he would do just fine filling in for Flacco, but adding a proven player such as Garrard -- whether he is No. 2 or No. 3 on the depth chart -- is a luxury worth splurging on. He has won a playoff game, against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers in Pittsburgh, no less. Sure, if Flacco gets hurt, the team’s title dreams will be trashed. Garrard may be able to salvage them.
Your turn: Should the Ravens show interest in David Garrard, or should they stand pat with Joe Flacco and Tyrod Taylor?
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