The Jacksonville Jaguars have informed starting quarterback David Garrard they are releasing him, Jay Glazer of NFL Network and Fox Sports reported Tuesday.
The surprising move means Luke McCown will start Sunday's season opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Garrard, 33, has started 58 of 64 games for the Jaguars during the past four seasons, after the Jaguars released Byron Leftwich in similar fashion in 2007. In 2010, Garrard passed for 2,734 yards and 23 touchdowns with 15 interceptions. The touchdowns and interceptions were career highs. He has thrown 89 touchdown passes and 54 interceptions in his career.
Garrard was entering the fourth year of a seven-year, $62.98 million contract that he signed in 2008. He was due $7.975 million this season. That figure was scheduled to grow $500,000 in each of the next two seasons.
McCown, 30, joined the Jaguars in 2009 in a trade after spending four years with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2005 to 2008) and one with the Cleveland Browns (2004). He hasn't started a game since 2007 while with the Bucs, and his career high is four starts as a rookie in Cleveland.