The evidence is everywhere. The writing’s on the wall. The cat’s out of the bag. The itch is begging to be scratched.
You can say whatever you want, but it’s all saying the same thing: Brett Favre wants to play. For the Minnesota Vikings.
We all knew this would come. After Favre’s retirement, messy divorce from Green Bay, and subsequent trade to the New York Jets, the only reason he was playing was obvious: to stick it to Ted Thompson and the Green Bay Packers organization. This worked pretty well for Favre for the first half of the season, until the wheels came off the Jets wagon and the team stumbled down the stretch, costing Eric Mangini his job and triggering countless personnel moves (Rex Ryan, Bart Scott, Jim Leonhard from the Baltimore Ravens to New York; Mark Sanchez to New York).
But Favre retired again. This one wasn’t tearful or as dramatic, but it was a retirement. We all thought that the issue was finally put to rest, but deep down we knew he’d get that itch again. And here it comes.
From where I’m sitting, Minnesota wants Favre, and Favre wants Minnesota. Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson, or “Sagvaris Jackenfels” as they are affectionately known as in some circles, won’t cut it for Minnesota. Many feel the Vikings are a quarterback away from the Super Bowl. There is a quarterback conveniently available who, if given the right weapons, can carry his team to a whole new level.
For Favre, he desperately wants to stick it to Thompson and the Packers. As many have already pointed out, the Chicago Bears have Jay Cutler and the Detroit Lions have Matthew Stafford and Daunte Culpepper. No room for him there. Most of the other quarterback situations in the NFC are relatively stable, with the exception of the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but San Fran is years away from competing while Tampa Bay has eight quarterbacks competing for their starting job. But Minnesota plays Green Bay twice a season, giving Favre two opportunities to stick it to Green Bay. Minnesota is his best option.
It seems like a match made in heaven (or hell, for Packers fans). However, Vikings fans should be forewarned. We saw the carnage left in Favre’s wake in New York. Mangini lost his job. GM Mike Tannebaum is on the hotseat, in my opinion. That organization was turned upside down by the Favre trade and the subsequent effects.
Favre could do the same thing to Minnesota. If indeed Favre is signed, Brad Childress‘ hotseat gets exponentially warmer. The personnel people are on the edge of their seats trying to escape the heat. If Favre fails, wholesale changes go down. Not to mention the effects Favre’s presence had on chemistry in New York. Many players resented the fact that Favre could pretty much do what he wanted. He was reclusive. He didn’t take the blame for when he cost the team. Some players, such as Kerry Rhodes, even suggested that Favre take himself out, putting the team before himself. That never happened in Green Bay. What makes you think it would have happened in New York. What makes think it would have happen in Minnesota.
Do you want your players being exposed to this type of cancer now? While Favre makes the players around him better, he can also bring them down. Packers fans all remember the start of the 2007 season. Favre was throwing to this rookie wide receiver from San Jose St. no one had ever heard of named James Jones. The kid was on a tear. But then he acquired acute fumble-itis in a Sunday night game in Chicago the Packers ultimately lost. Favre rarely went back to him for the rest of the season and Jones has returned to that level he was at at the beginning of the 2007 season on only one or two occasions. Favre lost faith in Jones as a pass catcher and in turn shocked Jones’ confidence. Imagine the first few times Percy Harvin drops a pass or makes a rookie mistake. Will Favre chew out the young dope smoker? Bring his confidence down? What kind of signal will that send to the rest of the team?
Sure, some of the Vikings say they would be open to Favre coming in to Minnesota. But how long will they be able to tolerate his “I do what I want” attitude? It didn’t last long in New York, a team that was overhauled in free agency to “Win Now” in 2008. Minnesota is in a similar position for 2009. Whether or not they go all in with Favre remains up in the air.
Also, Favre sent ESPN’s Trent Dilfer a text message reading the following after Dilfer asked him if he would consider playing in 2009:
In those capital letters.
ESPN’s Kevin Seifert says it best:
"All I can tell you is that Favre isn’t returning … today."
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