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David Garrard Retirement Leaves New York Jets in Tough Spot

GM John Idzik's First Move Shows Change is Tough for New York Jets Franchise

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | I was planning to write about the new era of New York Jets football today; how general manager John Idzik has swiftly started clearing out those who helped create the chaos that currently exists within the organization.

I was planning to say how things are changing; how Idzik said goodbye to former Mike Tannenbaum stalwart Scott Cohen and Ari Nissim, the man responsible for the team's horrendous salary cap status.

But then David Garrard had to go and remind me -- and everyone else who follows the New York Jets -- that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Late Wednesday, Garrard announced his intention to retire, the creaky knees that kept him off the field for almost two seasons finally ending his career.

And so goes the very first signing of the John Idzik Era with the New York Jets. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Garrard was the quarterback whom Idzik hand-picked to be a veteran voice, a leader who would do one of two things. Either he would be the bedrock, the support for incumbent QB Mark Sanchez and his fragile ego and raise him to a higher standard, or he would become the bridge between Sanchez and the new Face of the Franchise (who we later found out would be second-round draft pick Geno Smith).

Garrard was chosen for this role over a litany of other potential quarterbacks who were either available via free agency or trade. He was deemed by the new GM and the head coach has someone who could handle whichever of the two roles he was thrust into. Not too much pride to take a lesser role, but enough hubris to push his teammates to become the leader they might need.

It was a good plan. Not necessarily a popular one among the diehard fans, but a good one meant to push the faltering Sanchez. But without Garrard, there is no quarterback competition. Sure, there's Geno Smith, but there is no one to help teach the young upstart the nuances of being an NFL quarterback, something that would have surely helped challenge the lame-duck incumbent. Without Garrard, there's no chance of the Mark Sanchez Era ending anytime before 2014. Without Garrard, there is no experienced voice to lead a young offense with no vocal leaders.

Garrard wasn't meant to be a savior. He wasn't even meant to be a starter. He was meant to be stability. He was meant to be a leader, an example on an otherwise untested, unproven roster. But, this being the Jets, even the best laid plans are destined to fail. And this one -- Idzik's first one -- has failed on many levels.

I was planning to say things are changing in Florham Park. How Idzik has a grand plan to sacrifice the darkness that appears to be the 2013 season for a bigger and brighter future, one that would be built on the shoulders of new players, a new front office and -- likely -- a new head coach.

But even when things change in Florham Park, they stay the same.

James Moffat has 10-plus years of journalism expertise, writing for daily print and online publications. Check out his other work on the New York Jets here.

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