Friday, July 11, 2008

Thoughts On Favre's Purported Request

And so, ESPN has again broke the first news that Favre has requested an outright release, again citing their favorite source, "sources close to the organization".

Oh, name again? Anyone starting to think perhaps Ted Thompson and Mark Murphy need to start cracking down on anyone in their employ who talks to any of the media?

Anyway, I'm going under the assumption this might be true, but certainly, we don't know much about it other than what is being cited from sources that can't give their names.

My thoughts:

* If this is true, Favre is requesting to bypass the "Thompson As Bad Guy" route, in which he would make some sort of public request to rejoin his team, and be rebuffed. Yes, this puts the black hat and mustache on Favre to a degree, but for those who feel that Favre's itch would be the downfall of Thompson, it certainly makes the decision a lot easier for TT.

* If this is true, Favre has apparently been given the strong impression that his services as quarterback are no longer desired in Green Bay. This is quite a statement to be made, because if you read the media from any market other than Green Bay, most of the writers for the other teams are stunned that the Packers are rebuffing his desire.

I don't know if that is accurate, but there is certainly a grain of truth in it. The Packers are going without a single start amongst their quarterbacks this season. While I am in the camp of Favre staying retired for his benefit and the Packers' benefit, I do find it odd that there seems to be no effort to consider him as a player in 2008.

* Favre's 12.5 million dollar cap salary is prohibitive to nearly any other team that would want to play him, other than perhaps Tampa Bay. Asking for a release is an easy way for Favre to negotiate his own salary, either with the Packers or with other teams. It is possible that Favre could get a $3 million, one-year contract with a team, including the Packers. If the Packers maintain his rights and try to trade him, they will have a hard time to get a team with the ability or desire to take on a three-year contract that takes a pretty big chunk of the cap.

* Where (and when) does Favre want to go? I used to opine a couple seasons ago when it seemed that Thompson wanted to go a different direction that Favre would "retire" and do a Keith Jackson, waiting for a contending team to have a quarterback go down mid-season and looking for someone to step in and take over. Is there a thought that Favre wants to go through training camp again, something he is reputed for not really liking?

Could one of those teams be the Packers, as he is probably considering that both Brohm and Rodgers come with injury histories and the Packers may be willing to take Favre on if there is no one else around (just not for $12.5 million).

* How does Favre look in purple? It's a tremendous statement that a team that had so much open despise for a player would bring him and celebrate him as a hero, while the team that had him would revile him beyond belief.

But, the truth is out there. The Vikings have a team in place (on paper) and just need a quarterback to finish the puzzle. The Packers have had Favre attempt more and more passes in recent years, compensating for a lack of a running game and a poor offensive line.

What kind of statement would it make if the Vikings did make a Super Bowl with Favre, while the Packers struggle with Rodgers? This is an uncomfortable situation, but you must admit, an intriguing one. There are people who have claimed Thompson has held Favre back from another championship in his draft-only approach, and those who claim that Favre's salary and ego have interfered with Thompson's ability to put the team together than he wants.

This could settle that argument once and for all, and perhaps not with the Packers coming out spotless. Of course, the Packers could go 13-3 again and Favre could falter. That's why they play the game.

* It is interesting that you have all these people who say that Favre is washed up, not a part of the future, a hindrance to a young quarterback, and has declining skills. If all that is true, why are the same fans so scared to have Favre go to a division rival? If he really were that much of a liability, wouldn't our defense have a field day playing against him?

* I don't think anyone wants to see Favre's career end like this, but he wouldn't be the first great quarterback to finish with another team. Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, and Joe Namath all put in a forgettable swan song in different colors. It isn't what we want to see as Packer fans, and we do have to question what Favre's motivation is for this. Money? Most of us would guess he has plenty of that, as well as commercial opportunities to keep him in "green and gold" for the rest of his career. Records? He has them all. It really does come down to the love of the game and wanting a championship.

However, the waffling of his retirement speech really makes you question that love of the game and desire. I don't think he's going to follow through.

* Anyone who thinks TT is in a tough spot is nuts. He is the GM of this team, and this is what he gets paid to do. It is his job to plan for any contingency, from injury to personnel issues. For some odd reason, he has more salary cap space than he would need to re-sign Favre, but is loathe to do it. This is a conscious decision by Thompson to want to move forward without Favre. He may well come out smelling like a rose, hoisting a Lombardi trophy, and we will all celebrate him for it.

He may also end up looking like a fool. But, just as Favre has no place blaming Thompson for his decision to retire, Thompson has no place blaming Favre for any difficulties he has along the way. That's his job, he makes those decisions, and lives by them. If his drafts aren't any indication that he doesn't take fan backlash into consideration while moving forward with his plan, than you can bet the Favre backlash won't either.

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