Presumably, the Packers don’t really want Favre back after all that’s happened. Essentially, their message is they aren’t going to free him to sign with any of the league’s other 31 teams — especially not NFC North division rivals Minnesota, Chicago or Detroit — and he won’t be given his starting job back if he returns to Green Bay.
The most likely scenario would have Favre petitioning the league for reinstatement and the Packers trading him to an AFC team, or at least an NFC team outside the division. Among the teams that fit that profile are the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Kansas City Chiefs, New York Jets, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Washington Redskins.
The Packers’ best-case scenario, in which Favre would’ve simply stayed retired, almost certainly won’t happen. The Packers went so far as to send an intermediary down to Mississippi last week to try to talk Favre into staying retired, but their attempt failed.
The Wisconsin State Journal’s article puts serious contenders for Favre out there for the first time in a while. But would these really help Brett Favre? He obviously wants to go to a contender and the Minnesota Vikings are rumored to be his top choice (which means he’s looking to follow Darren Sharper and Ryan Longwell), but Minnesota most likely isn’t going to happen. Do these really give Favre a chance to be a winner though?
The Miami Dolphins were 1-15 last year and are starting from the ground up. They have a new coach in Tony Sparano and a new head man in Bill Parcells. If Favre wants to win, Miami would probably not be the best option. Parcells and Sparano are getting reputations as strictly business, given their run-in with superstar-turned-wanna-be-actor Jason Taylor. A Taylor-for-Favre swap is pretty intriguing, but I don’t think that’s what Taylor wants and Favre wants a winner, but I don’t see the Dolphins turning into playoff contenders right away. Right now, John Beck, Chad Henne, and Josh McCown are the quarterbacks on the roster for the Dolphins. Beck started last year and had a lot of trouble adjusting to the pro-game. He could have been Cam Cameron‘s quarterback of the future, but with Parcells coming in, his future is up in the air. Parcells used a high draft pick on Henne, who could be Parcells’ “guy” while McCown is the veteran in the mix. McCown also happens to be a friend of the Packers family, along with Nathan Poole, for knocking the Vikings out and Packers into the playoffs in (I think) 2003. God, I love opening old wounds. So the Dolphins do not look that likely if Favre wants to win. If he wants to play and end up on MediCare, he can go for it.
The Baltimore Ravens would be the worst situation for me besides an NFC North team. I may be in the Baltimore area, but I do not like the Ravens. Besides the personal anguish this would cost me, the Ravens cannot quite afford Favre. Right now the Packers have 2008 first round pick Joe Flacco, 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith, and bust Kyle Boller. The Ravens are also reeling from the Steve McNair-era where they were at the mercy of an aging quarterback on the downside of his career. I have read many columnists in the Baltimore-area newspapers, and it’s clear they do not want Favre. They know that on the heels of a 5-11 season that they need to rebuild and devote time and confidence to either Flacco or Smith, something they did not do with Boller. The only way to get their quarterbacks better and to put themselves in a position to win in the future would be to let Flacco and Smith play and become experienced.
The Jets are intriguing. Favre is older than head coach Eric Mangini. Kellen Clemens looks like he could be a good quarterback if he is given time to play, which wouldn’t happen if Favre joined the team. Chad Pennington is still on the team and he has had some pretty good moments in his time in the Big Apple. I’m no Jets expert, but this scenario is pretty mysterious. Who knows here. I just don’t know whether Favre would want to play for a team coming off a losing season.
It seems like every year Sports Illustrated picks the Panthers to win the Super Bowl. But it doesn’t happen. They are mired in the .500-ball heave that is the NFC South. The team does not have many offensive weapons outside of Steve Smith and at times last year, it seemed like they could not do anything right. Sure, they played in Super Bowl XXXVIII. But that feels like ancient history. Also, the Panthers seems set with Jake Delhomme as their signal caller.
Tampa Bay is quarterback heaven. Jon Gruden is apparently tight with Favre because of the days of the Holmgren regime. But seriously, how many quarterbacks on the roster? Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese, Luke McCown, Chris Simms, and rookie Josh Johnson. They’ve got about every type in there. Let’s add aging-gunslinger to that category. The Bucs won the division in 2007, but the fact that they won it at 9-7 leaves no guarantee for them to be a winner in 2008. Not seeing Favre here.
The Redskins are another interesting possibility. They’ve got plenty of money (aka Dan Snyder) and a young quarterback in Jason Campbell. The Redskins know what they are doing with Campbell by letting him play last year. The only reason a player can get better is by playing. And he got better as the season went on before he got hurt and Todd Collins led the team to the playoffs. The Skins have been down this road before with Mark Brunell. I don’t think that worked too well.
So there we have it. I’d say Favre doesn’t have any really good options out there. Anywhere he went (Minnesota included) he would get in the way of the development of a team.
Topics: Baltimore Ravens, Bill Parcells, Brett Favre, Brian Griese, Cam Cameron, Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, Chris Simms, Dan Snyder, Darren Sharper, Eric Mangini, Green Bay Packers, Jake Delhomme, Jason Campbell, Jason Taylor, Jeff Garcia, Joe Flacco, John Beck, Jon Gruden, Josh Johnson, Josh McCown, Kansas City Chiefs, Kellen Clemens, Kyle Boller, Luke McCown, Mark Brunell, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, Nathan Poole, Ryan Longwell, Steve McNair, Steve Smith, Todd Collins, Tony Sparano, Troy Smith