Man, I am loving this Brett Favre story. For a few months it actually looked Favre was really retired this time. Suckers! Ever since word broke that Favre had the “itch” to play again sportswriters and sports media types, not to mention fans, are all expressing their opinion on what Favre and the Packers should do. Should he stay retired or come back? Do they welcome him back, trade him, what? Is Favre damaging his legacy? Is he just a drama queen who needs the attention? Why can’t he stay retired already?
Well, I’m not going to offer any opinions on what Favre should do. I mean, it’s his career not mine. Only he knows how he feels. Who am I to tell somebody else what to do with their life? That’s just not who I am. (For example, see this post I wrote last year called "Brett Favre, Retire Already”. Want an extra helping of stupidity? Try Part II here.)
Ok, ok. I had an ulterior motive. I hoped Favre would call it quits after 2006 so he wouldn’t break the all-time passing marks of my all-time favorite player Dan Marino. And you have to admit; since Favre’s stats clearly seemed to show he was obviously declining it was hardly sporting for the broken-down old vet to come back and play out the string just to break some records would it? But Favre didn’t do that. Dude cut way back on the picks, had his best season in years, and led his team all the way to the NFC Championship Game and the very cusp of the Super Bowl (before the predictable playoff meltdown). Favre broke Marino’s records while playing like one of the best QB’s in the game. He earned it (and I don’t like having to admit that. Damn you Fav-ra!).
So now what? Well, clearly Favre still wants to play. And surprisingly, it also seems clear that Packers management doesn’t want him back. They’re set to move forward with Aaron Rodgers. [And spare me "It's Just Rumors" talk. The lack of a definitive statement by Favre plus Peter King's reporting that the above is true (and everyone knows Favre and King are friendly so Favre's his direct source here) mean we're well past the rumor stage]. Now if Green Bay was rebuilding I could understand the Packers hoping Favre really meant it when he said he was retired. Or if Favre was obviously washed up. Or if it was a given that Rodgers was going to be a great quarterback. But as far as we know none of those things are true! Green Bay was a Super Bowl caliber team last year. Favre might well have another great year left in him. And Rodgers hasn’t done anything yet (except piss Packers fans off by telling them to get on his bandwagon).
Looks the Pack have four options:
1) Welcome Favre back, pay him $12 mil, and bench Rodgers.
2) Welcome Favre back, pay him $12 mil, and bench Favre.
3) Release Favre, save $12 mil, and hope he doesn’t get picked up by a division rival.
4) Trade Favre, save $12 mil, and try to get something for him.
Favre’s probably the most beloved player in Packers history. He proved he could still play at a high level. His team nearly made the Super Bowl. And even if management wants Favre to stay retired, there’s no way the players would prefer Rodgers to start over Favre. No way. Rodgers hasn’t earned their confidence and trust the way Favre has. If the team goes ahead, gets rid of Favre and Rodgers plays poorly, that ain’t gonna look good. If Favre plays well for another team, that’s gonna make it worse. And if he does it for Chicago or Minnesota, the two most likely Favre suitors out there, while his old team flops, that will probably get current Packers management canned. The fans would demand to see some heads roll. Now I can see how bringing back Favre and relegating Rodgers to the bench again would cause some serious problems for Rodgers. He’s waited patiently for his shot and was promised the job this year. Out of bitterness he might be lost to the organization if it’s yanked away from him like this. But, the goal is to win a championship. Who gives the Pack the best shot at winning it right this second? It sure seems like Favre. Of course if the Pack think Favre wants his old job or nothing, they might call his bluff and release him or trade him hoping he just retires (again!). The only thing the Pack gets out of that though is peace-of-mind for Rodgers and some really bad publicity and hurt feelings for pushing a legend out the door. If Rodgers should get hurt again, as he's had a bit of a penchant for doing, Green Bay's season goes down the drain and the fans would always wonder what might have been. Actually, they'll wonder anyway if Rodgers plays and doesn't come close to what Favre did in 2007.
I can’t wait to see how this one plays out. Can anyone really picture Favre returning to Green Bay as a backup? And you thought Rodgers was feeling pressure before.