Mark Sanchez — the guy in the headband — figures to be more likely to keep his job. (Rich Schultz / AP)

Mark Sanchez is more likely than ever to be the New York Jets’ starting quarterback when the season opens, what with David Garrard retiring Wednesday afternoon.

Somehow, you just knew that the Jets’ QB competition — the subject of so much heated conjecture when they had six quarterbacks on the roster after the NFL draft — would end so meekly.

Despite the Yankee cap and Jets T-shirt, David Garrard didn't last in NY. (Rich Schultz / AP) Despite the Yankee cap and Jets T-shirt, David Garrard didn’t last in NY. (Rich Schultz / AP)

First, the team cut Tim Tebow on April 29. Then Garrard, who signed with the Jets in March, decided to retire because, he said, of lingering problems with his knee. His departure means that Sanchez’s stiffest competition is likely to come from rookie Geno Smith, with Greg McElroy and Matt Simms also on the roster. Although Sanchez struggled last season and contributed the epic “buttfumble” to NFL lore, he’s looking a lot better now, given that the other QBs on the roster have started all of one NFL game among them.

Garrard had been expected to help with Smith’s development, as well as push Sanchez, but the nine-year vet couldn’t go on.

“Having to call it quits,” Garrard, who hasn’t played in an NFL game the last two seasons because of knee and back issues, texted SiriusXM’s Adam Schein. “My knee is not holding up. Continuing to swell after practices. Limiting what I can do.”

Garrard’s departure came hours after Marty Mornhinweg, the Jets’ offensive coordinator, said he hoped the QB situation would be sorted out quickly.

“This will be a bona fide quarterback competition, period,” the offensive coordinator said. “I am hoping that somebody will rise to the top quicker rather than later.”

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