The Jets quarterbacks meeting room was less crowded yesterday with David Garrard having retired, but Mark Sanchez said the departure has no effect on him.

“Nothing’s changed,” Sanchez said. “My mindset’s the same. Just stay focused, master this offense, improve on my fundamentals and be as accurate as possible, take care of the football and lead this team.”

Sanchez said Garrard’s decision to retire was “a little bit abrupt” and he did not see it coming. The fifth-year quarterback is trying to beat out rookie Geno Smith for the starting job this spring and summer. Things get started Monday when OTAs begin.

“It’s a fierce deal,” said Sanchez, also including longshots Greg McElroy and Matt Simms as part of the quarterback competition. “We’re all excited.”

“[General manager John] Idzik wants competition. Let’s go, let’s compete,” Sanchez said. “We’ll see who’s the best and the best will play.”

Garrard was not at the Jets’ training center yesterday, but appeared on SiriusXM Radio to talk about his decision to quit because of his balky left knee.

“My knee just never really quite got back to, not to where it was before, but not even just well enough to... it was well enough to get out and run around and stuff but it would still swell on me,” said Garrard, who is mulling an offer from the Jets to be a coaching intern in training camp. “I just kept thinking, how am I going to compete for the starting job if every four days I’ve got to stop and have an ice bag on my knee while the guys are practicing?”

With Garrard out of the picture, Sanchez has a much better shot of sticking on the team and possibly starting. Smith, the team’s second-round pick last month, has to adjust to an NFL offense after playing in West Virginia’s spread attack.