NEW YORK — The Jets have one less quarterback in their open competition.
A person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Wednesday that David Garrard plans to retire because of lingering knee issues.
The 35-year-old Garrard was signed in March to provide veteran competition for Mark Sanchez. But Garrard, who hadn’t played in a regular-season game in the NFL since 2010 because of injuries, is planning to step away because of knee troubles.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the team nor Garrard had officially announced the decision.
NFL Network first reported that Garrard planned to retire. SiriusXM Radio host Adam Schein said that Garrard told him in a text that he had to “call it quits” because “my knee is not holding up. Continuing to swell after practices. Limiting what I can do.”
The former Jacksonville Jaguars star was cut by the Miami Dolphins last summer after he needed arthroscopic surgery on his ailing left knee. Garrard was expected to be in the mix to compete for the Jets’ starting job along with Sanchez and second-round pick Geno Smith. New York also has Greg McElroy and Matt Simms on the roster.
In a conference call with season ticket holders earlier in the day, new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg insisted that the Jets starting QB job is up for grabs — and that included Garrard at the time.
“This will be a bona fide quarterback competition. Period,” Mornhinweg said. “I’m hoping that somebody will rise to the top quicker rather than later.”
Garrard, it now appears, will not be a part of that.
When he signed with the Jets, Garrard said he had his sights set on having a chance at the starting job. He said he felt healthy at the time, adding that “my knee is great now.”
Garrard had apparently been having issues with it, though. Another person familiar with the situation told the AP that the quarterback wanted to have his knee examined either Tuesday or Wednesday morning, so it had clearly been bothering him during offseason workouts.
That person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the decision hadn’t been announced, was not aware that Garrard was contemplating retirement as recently as last night.