NEW YORK — Before, it had only been words. Critical words, from the owner and the coach, but words nonetheless.
Now the Jaguars have taken their dissatisfaction with QB David Garrard to the next level.
By making Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert the 10th overall pick of the draft — and moving up six spots in a trade with the Redskins to do it — the Jaguars made it as clear as possible that Garrard’s days as the starter are nearing an end.
The last quarterback the Jaguars drafted in the first round was Byron Leftwich, seventh overall, in 2003.
Gabbert was widely seen as the second-best quarterback in the draft, after Cam Newton. Gabbert and Newton also were widely considered the only two quarterbacks in the draft deserving of a first-round grade.
With Gabbert, the Jaguars might have the quarterback who’s the most ready to step into the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
It seems that the Jaguars have decided they have gone as far as they can with Garrard, who at his best has been efficient but never shown he can be a consistent difference-maker despite signing a seven-year, $60 million contract in 2008.
Soon, it will be Gabbert’s turn to demonstrate that he can be that kind of quarterback for Jacksonville.
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