Sept. 7, 2011MAIOCCO ARCHIVE
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UPDATE (1:18 p.m.): Coach Jim Harbaugh did not close the door on the possibility the 49ers are pursuing free-agent quarterback David Garrard, whom the Jacksonville Jaguars released Tuesday.Are the 49ers interested in Garrard?"I'm not going to comment on that," Harbaugh said Wednesday. "We're interested in one thing, that's what makes our football team better. That's a blanket statement on how we approach any move that can help our football team or better our football team. Is it good for our football team? There's only one priority."
Are the 49ers one of the five teams that called Tuesday to inquire about the services of free-agent quarterback David Garrard?"I've been sworn to secrecy," Garrard's agent, Al Irby, told CSNBayArea.com on Wednesday.Irby is spending the day returning phone calls to inform those teams what Garrard is thinking, just one day after the Jacksonville Jaguars surprisingly released their starting quarterback of the past five seasons.
"He's disappointed that the Jaguars released him, particular the way they did it," Irby said. "But there are no hard feelings. It's a business and they can do whatever they want. He's looking forward. Sometimes things like this work out well. Look at (Drew) Brees and Kurt Warner. They switched teams and went on to have great success."RELATED: Jags release Garrard days before season opener
Irby said Garrard received more interest than even he anticipated. Now, Garrard will look for the team that gives him the best chance to get on the field, Irby said."He knows he can lead a team to the playoffs, if that team has the weapons around the quarterback," Irby said.Irby said Garrard will continue to weigh his options and look for the best fit for his services.
"We're in listening mode right," Irby said. "So, come on."
There is no indication the 49ers are one of the interested teams, but it is known that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh thought highly of Garrard leading up to the 2002 draft.While the 49ers were doing their homework on Harbaugh prior to hiring him, the club obtained some of his draft write-ups on the quarterback class of 2002. When Harbaugh was a Raiders assistant, he placed a high grade on Garrard. The Jaguars selected Garrard in the fourth round, which Harbaugh had rated as a steal, a 49ers source told CSNBayArea.com in January.But do the 49ers have a need for Garrard?Alex Smith is the 49ers' starting quarterback. Behind Smith, the 49ers have rookies Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien.The Jaguars on Tuesday declded to keep Luke McCown as their starter with rookie Blaine Gabbert as the backup. Last season, Garrard started 14 games for the Jaguars. He completed 64.5 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. His passer rating was 90.8, which was statistically better than his performance in 2009, when he was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team.