David Garrard's back became a body part of national interest Monday when its need for surgery prevented him from auditioning for the job of Oakland Raiders starting quarterback.
Tuesday, despite the fact that he won't be playing in the NFL this year, the intrigue surrounding his back continues.
According to Garrard's agent, Al Irby, the Jaguars knew about Garrard's back problems, but told him it was fine. They instead cut him, the accusation goes, because they knew that he wouldn't be able to play and they didn't want to pay a guy to sit on the bench. Here's a snippet of an email Irby sent to the Florida Times-Union:
"At $500,000 per game, they knew he would be down 4-6 weeks. They didn't want to pay that bill," Irby wrote. "Now you know the difference between a first-class organization like Indy, and a sorry organization like the Jags. Indy gave their QB a contract even though he couldn't play all season. ... David was told his back was fine. So he took them for their word.
"Now he has to go to surgery, and Jacksonville is saying, 'Not my problem.' What a first class organization!"
That's a pretty damning accusation. I'm not a doctor, but I'm guessing it's contrary to all sorts of medical ethics codes to know that a guy's back is all gooned up (that's a medical term), and not tell him about it.
It's important to keep in mind, though, that this man's an agent, and agents say things to protect their clients (and also, apparently, to ensure that they can never negotiate with the Jacksonville Jaguars again). The story at the time was that David Garrard was cut because he wasn't very good anymore. Who's to say that wasn't the whole truth, and the news about Garrard's back is new to everyone?
As far as Irby's comparison to the Colts, well, we already knew of about 38 other differences between a first-class organization like the Colts and an organization like the Jags. Nothing against David Garrard, but I don't care if he's playing for the Jags, Colts, Raiders, Shanghai Dongfang Sharks or an intramural team at the Northern Pleasanton College for Ice Cream Truck Drivers, he's not getting the Peyton Manning treatment. Know why? He's not Peyton Manning.
For their part, the Jaguars say that Garrard "went through the standard process that all players go through when released," which doesn't clear much up. I'm guessing they're not losing a lot of sleep over an agent's accusations, though.