When Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne separated his shoulder in last week’s loss to Chargers, the first free agent quarterback that came to mind was ex-Jaguar David Garrard. The Dolphins reached out to Garrard, but a deal never happened.
This week, NFL Network and ESPN reported that no agreement was reached because the Dolphins wouldn’t offer Garrard a guaranteed, one-year salary. Another report suggested the sides couldn’t come to terms because Garrard wanted a $1 million salary, and the Dolphins wouldn’t pay more than the veteran’s minimum. (About a $200k difference.)
Both notions are false, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
Citing multiple team sources, Salguero reports that the Dolphins didn’t sign Garrard because he “simply didn’t feel like playing right now.” 33 years old with chronic back problems, Garrard reportedly “showed no great desire to play” during discussions with the Dolphins, and is “quite content sitting out this season.”
It’s worth noting that the Herald‘s report is expressly team-driven, and in it Salguero openly claims that ESPN and NFLN’s initial reports came “from Garrard’s agent.” It sounds like the Dolphins might be trying to save face in Salguero’s report. After losing its starting quarterback, the idea that a team wouldn’t pay a relatively meager sum for a proven, veteran replacement could make the organization look bad. Particularly with an 0-4 record.
The agent, on the other hand, is more likely to deceive the media if his client just isn’t ready to get off the couch. Garrard could change his mind later — especially if a competitive team came calling — so the agent would prefer to keep his client’s options open. We already know Garrard’s agent has been trying to drum up interest in his client since early September, and there’s little doubt Garrard would be playing somewhere if that’s what he truly wanted. Clearly, it isn’t.
So we tend to believe Salguero’s side of the story.