David Garrard isn't here for the money.

The veteran quarterback is with the Jets in pursuit of being a starting quarterback once again.

"I'm healthy now and I'm going to be going after it. I'm not here collecting paychecks," Garrard said Thursday afternoon. "That's not what I'm about. I'm definitely healthy and I definitely want to get out there. I want to be the guy but I can't talk about it. I gotta get on the field and do it."

After missing the past two seasons with injuries, Garrard will be part of the Jets' five-man competition at quarterback. The 35-year-old last started a game on Dec. 26, 2010 with Jacksonville.

"As long as I'm healthy and able to continue to work with the team and don't have setbacks with my knee or my back or anything like that, then I know that I have the ability to," Garrard said of being a starter. "But I can't talk about it, I still gotta go out on the field and do it. I've been trying to be the number one guy for the last two years and it's one thing after the other that hasn't allowed that."

While Garrard has the most experience of any quarterback on the roster, it's closing on three years since he last started a game.

After being released by Jacksonville prior to the start of the 2011 season, he underwent back surgery and missed the year. Last season, after signing with Miami, he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery and was released. Garrard said Thursday he feels great.

As the Jets quarterback battle unfolds, Garrard hopes that the deciding factor is who performs best, not what he called "politics." He did add that the sheer size of this quarterback competition, as well as it occurring in New York, has made it different than most.