Former Jaguars QB Garrard signs with Dolphins

STEVEN WINE AP Sports Writer Published:

MIAMI (AP) -- Quarterback David Garrard signed a one-year contract Monday with the Miami Dolphins and said he was told he'll be given a shot at the starting job.

The Dolphins reached agreement with the former Jacksonville Jaguars QB after failed courtships with Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. They also hosted San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith for a visit Sunday and may still consider signing him.

Garrard said he expects to compete for the starting job with incumbent Matt Moore and perhaps another quarterback the Dolphins acquire.

Miami safety Yeremiah Bell was told he'll be released to create cap space, a person familiar with the discussions said. The person confirmed the discussions to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins hadn't announced a move.

The 34-year-old Garrard, a starter for Jacksonville from 2005-10, didn't play last season. He was released five days before the opener by the Jaguars, and the Dolphins courted him last year after quarterback Chad Henne's season was ended by a shoulder injury.

But Garrard didn't sign, and instead underwent back surgery in October.

His best season was in 2007, when he threw 18 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. He topped 3,500 yards passing in 2008 and 2009, and he's 39-37 as a starter in nine seasons, all with Jacksonville.

By cutting the 34-year-old Bell, the Dolphins save more than $4 million in cap space, which could be used in negotiations with Smith.

Bell has played his entire eight-year career with Miami and became a starter in 2006. He made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and led the team in tackles each of the past four seasons.