The Dolphins were spurned in free agency by Peyton Manning and Matt Flynn. They also met with Alex Smith on Sunday, but made the move to bring in Garrard and also have the No. 8 pick in next month's draft.
Miami offered Garrard a contract last season after Chad Henne was hurt, but an agreement was never reached and Garrard later announced he had season-ending back injury.
"It just ended up continuing to get worse. I knew by the time the Dolphins were calling that I just wasn't feeling good enough," he said. "I didn't find out for a couple weeks later I actually did herniate my disk. I wasn't really in the best position to sign there and take any offers."
Garrard started 14 games for Jacksonville in 2010, completing 64.5 percent of his passes, and said he is ready to run Coach Joe Philbin's West Coast offense.
"That's right up my alley. I was in it for a little while when Bryon (Leftwich) was the starting quarterback (in Jacksonville)," said Garrard. "I didn't have a full year of it, but it's perfect for me. I love getting the ball out of my hands fast, moving in the pocket, bootlegs, all those things are right up my alley and the style and scheme that they're running will be great.
"A lot of the terminology is similar to what I was already running. So that's going to be a nice, easier transition. It's all not the same, but a lot of it is, so that's usually the hardest part with playing the position is getting all the terminology down. So that's great it's already familiar to me. That's a system I really wanted to be in again."