Garrard's deal with the Dolphins reportedly is for one year and is loaded with incentives.
That makes sense given that Garrard was out of football in 2011 after being released by the Jaguars shortly before the start of the regular season.
The Dolphins talked to Garrard about joining them last year after Chad Henne went down with a shoulder injury, but Garrard was dealing with a back injury of his own.
Garrard, who turned 34 on Valentine's Day, was a fourth-round pick of the Jaguars in 2002 and spent nine seasons in Jacksonville.
Garrard started 76 games for the Jaguars, becoming the full-time starter in 2006. His best season came in 2007 when he had a passer rating of 102.2 on the strength of a 64.0 completion percentage and 18 touchdowns against only three interceptions.
Garrard also was effective in his last season in Jacksonville in 2010 when he completed 64.5 percent of his passes with 23 touchdowns, although he did throw 15 interceptions.
After that season the Jaguars decided they needed an upgrade at quarterback so they took Blaine Gabbert in the first round of the 2011 draft.
Garrard gives the Dolphins a second veteran quarterback to go along with Matt Moore, who finished last season as the starter. One would expect that new coach Joe Philbin would hold an open competition in training camp.
The Dolphins also have on the roster young quarterback Pat Devlin, who spent pretty much all of last season on the practice squad.
The addition of Garrard certainly doesn't preclude the possibility of the Dolphins taking a quarterback in this year's draft, perhaps as early as the first round.
Under such a scenario, that rookie would sit for a season or two, while either Moore or Garrard would start and the other would serve as the backup.
Garrard becomes the fourth free agent signed by the Dolphins this spring, following DB Richard Marshall, LB Jamaal Westerman and G/T Artis Hicks.