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No Right or Wrong Answer for Brett Favre and Packers

I’m glad I held my tongue on commenting on the Packers/Brett Favre situation until now because I’ve just watched the entire Favre/Greta Vantriloquist interview and feel I now have both sides of the story. In case you missed it over the weekend, Ted Thompson laid out an entire timeline of events of what transpired between the Packers and Favre, from his point of view. Since it was coming from Thompson, it obviously painted the Packers as patient folks who gave Favre plenty of opportunities to let them know what was going on and makes Favre look like the bad guy for springing his comeback on them. Now that I’ve heard Vantriloquist’s interview, I have a more balanced perspective and I’ve drawn a conclusion.

My feelings on the Brett Favre/Packers duel is that there is no right or wrong answer and that both parties have been screwed over by matters. I completely understand the Packers wanting to build and prepare for not only this year, but the next few years. That means finding out what Aaron Rodgers can do before the guy’s a freaking free agent. How much would it suck from their perspective for Rodgers to never start a game for them and go somewhere else where he becomes a star, or at least a playoff-type quarterback? How much would it suck for them to have wasted a first-round pick on the guy, get nothing, and have Favre really leave after this season? At the same time, Favre is dealing with a tricky situation because he is a veteran who has the skill to keep playing yet his mental desire and drive to play is tested by the taxing nature of the game. I understand why he wouldn’t feel 100% committed to the team in March — at that time he probably still felt beat up. But four months later, sure, I could see where the fire would be burning once again. I also got an even stronger feeling that he felt pushed out, much like I said back in April when I predicted Favre’s comeback.

Initially I thought Favre was being selfish and holding the team hostage. I still partially believe that’s true, but I also feel that he has earned that right, and that the Packers should be able to call an audible late in the offseason like they did last year and make an adjustment. At the same time, it could be in the franchise’s best interest to prepare for the future by sticking with Rodgers. It’s not often that I am on the fence on an issue, considering I’m pretty opinionated. But this is one where I truly cannot make up my mind because I understand the argument for both sides and I’m honestly 50/50. Yet there is one ultimate conclusion I can draw: this isn’t Hollywood, this isn’t a movie. There doesn’t have to be a storybook ending between the Packers and Brett Favre. He’s already had a brilliant career with them and nothing more needs to be said than that, regardless of what transpires over the next few months. Things will work themselves out for the best.

Packers Send Message to Rodgers, Favre

And that would be … we don’t need you, old man, and … we’re not satisfied with you, young man. The Packers matter of fact passed this message onto Favre a few days ago by placing the QB on the retired/reserve list, even though Favre hinted yet again that he might be interested in coming back. The message was made pretty clear to Aaron Rodgers late in the day on Saturday, when with the 56th overall selection, the Packers made Brian Brohm the third quarterback chosen in the draft. How’s that for a confidence builder if your Rodgers. Nothing says “you’re our franchise quarterback” quite like drafting a “backup” in the 2nd round.

I don’t get the pick for multiple reasons. For the obvious reason, it’s not exactly going to work wonders to Rodgers’ confidence. If you’re Green Bay, you want your former first-round pick to become your franchise guy and to feel secure in the job. He already has the unenviable task of having to replace an irreplaceable legend, and now he has some hot-shot second round pick breathing down his neck. What they eff are they trying to do to Rodgers? Besides that, now they’ll have 2nd round money and 2nd round roster pressure invested into Brohm. You don’t just take a quarterback in the 2nd round and only expect him to be a solid backup; you take a guy in the 2nd because he impresses you enough to be a starter. If you’re just looking for more quarterback depth and a potential backup to Rodgers, you take one on the second day, like in the 5th or 6th round or something. But taking the third quarterback in the draft, in the 2nd round no less, tells me they’re not counting on Rodgers as a long-term answer. I don’t know how you could possibly spin it any other way, Ted Thompson.

(note: that picture really doesn’t have to do too much with the subject of this post, I just couldn’t resist the urge, for obvious reasons.)

Brett Favre Already Unretiring?

Last month I was uber-skeptical of Brett Favre’s sudden, unexpected retirement. Sure, he had contemplated it the past few seasons, but coming off the great year he had and near Super Bowl berth, what possessed him to retire? I wondered if it had anything to do with the Packers being unable to pry Randy Moss loose from New England. Then last week the LA Times reported that Favre’s agent was quietly contacting teams to gauge their interest in Brett, which the agent denied. And now we have these comments from Brett to the Biloxi Sun Herald:

When asked if he would return to football if the Packers called because of team injuries, Favre said:

“It would be hard to pass up, I guess. But three months from now, say that presents itself, I may say, you know what, I’m so glad I made that decision. I’m feel very comfortable in what I’m doing and my decision.

The rigors of staying in shape seem to be the only issue keeping Favre from giving an unequivocal “yes” answer to this question, but saying it’s “hard to pass up” is a pretty telling statement. I thought something was up when he abruptly retired last month, like there were external factors pushing him out. The fact that he says he would have a tough time passing up an opportunity says to me this dude really wasn’t set on retiring, and that something was pushing him out of the game.

Did Randy Moss Impact Favre’s Decision?

I still have a lot of questions floating around in my head regarding Favre’s retirement. To start with, how about: Why? Why now? Why after coming so close to the Super Bowl? Why after such a good season? And why retire and go out on an interception that cost your team a shot at the Super Bowl? There are a few theories floating around, one says Favre didn’t feel wholeheartedly wanted by the Packers organization. I think that’s really just a poor way of saying that Favre was disappointed his team didn’t make efforts to try and get better in the off-season through free agency. Hence, Randy Moss’ decision to re-sign with the Patriots could have impacted Brett Favre’s decision to retire.

Favre expressed in his message to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that he only wanted to win a Super Bowl and that anything else would be a failure. (You listening Larry Hughes?) So if his team wasn’t good enough last year to make it to the Super Bowl, much less win the thing, then in Favre’s mind, how were they going to be better prepared to win it without improving in the off-season? Once Stallworth, and most notably Randy Moss, signed elsewhere, Favre probably lost any reason to return to the team. I’m guessing that could have been a major trigger for him. I bet Brett wanted them to sell the farm and bet the house on this upcoming season, Mark Cuban for Jason Kidd style, in order to make a run happen. Once it didn’t Favre probably said screw it, it’s time to retire. I certainly think that was a strong possibility.

God Must Love Lawrence Tynes

Watching the finale to the Giants/Packers game, it became pretty clear to me that there was a life force guiding Lawrence Tynes yesterday. In a matter of minutes, Tynes went from having his life ruined — marred by missing the biggest kick(s) of his life — to booting the Giants to the Super Bowl. Tynes would have been hated. Crucified. Vilified. Mortified. He would have been done. Cast aside to join the likes of Scott Norwood in the history books. He would have been the man that cost the Giants a trip to the Super Bowl. Not once, but twice. Tynes the goat — could you imagine the headlines? He would have been done. Over. Ruined.

Alas, everything happens for a reason. The interception in overtime was Brett Favre’s gift to Tynes. Insurance that Lawrence wouldn’t go all Cole Ford on everyone later in life. Instead, he made the 47 yarder and sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. All was well. I don’t know about you, but that’s how I saw the game. I didn’t see it as a Brett Favre failure, nor as an Eli Manning triumph. What I saw was one lucky, extremely lucky man, who got his shot at redemption — a third time — and conquered. He changed his life with swing of his leg. From ruining the rest of his years, to being able to live and breathe without much thought. Incredible. Luckily for him the Super Bowl won’t come down to a field goal margin, otherwise he’d be toast.

Brett Favre Could Be Heading Back to the Super Bowl

We saw a storybook ending to Jerome Bettis’ career a few years ago. We knew he was retiring, we knew the Super Bowl was in his hometown of Detroit, but we didn’t think he’d be playing in it — much less winning it. Even more of a long shot entering the season though was the odds of Brett Favre having a great season and playing in February. Though I defended Favre’s ability a few years ago when people said he needed to retire, I never would have thought the guy had a shot at the Super Bowl. Never. And that’s what makes the NFL so great, not to mention crazy.

So how about that? How insane is it that this old, graybeard 38-year-old is still tearing up defenses and throwing TD passes and on the verge of a birth to the Super Bowl? How insane is it that the NFL is all of a sudden falling back in love with the same guy who was an MVP and hero in the league more than a decade ago? Guys like Tim Couch who was a top pick in the draft not too long ago can’t even find work, yet here he Favre is like 15 years later still playing — and balling it up at that. I just know this much: after Sunday, either Eli Manning or Brett Favre will heading to the Super Bowl. That scenario absolutely blows my mind. Can you believe that Brett Favre is thisclose to playing in another Super Bowl? I can’t. That’s crazy. And too bad the Pats are just gonna beat his Pack and he’ll wind up returning for a downer year in ’08. Oh well, fun while it lasted.

Who Does Brett Favre Think He Is?

There was a time when the name Brett Favre bore all the power of the National Football League. The mere mention of the two syllables could send chills down a defensive back’s neck, and strike fear into the heart of an opposing head coach. There was a day when Brett Favre dominated on Sundays, and hoisted the Lombardi Trophy with pride and dignity. There was a day when Brett Favre should have gracefully ridden off into the sunset, leaving legacy and limb intact. Unfortunately, that day has long since passed.

Now, the man who was once a legendary NFL quarterback, is doing all that he can to ruin a decade of sheer brilliance in the league. Holding out until after the summer last year before letting the franchise know he was coming back. Influencing their draft strategy — impeding the emergence of Aaron Rodgers. And on Saturday, criticizing the organization which nurtured him from the roll of backup to superstar. And then topping it all off, reports have surfaced courtesy of Foxsports.com, that Favre had asked to be traded after the draft. How’s that for a dickslap to the face of the Green Bay Packers organization, assuming it’s true?

Knowing that Favre heavily criticized the organization on Saturday for not pulling the trigger on Moss makes me believe that Jay Glazer’s report is quite possible. If Glazer’s report is true, then I’ll say this much — someone needs to put Brett Favre in his place. I mean seriously, who does Brett Favre think he is? He’s no longer an impact quarterback. He’s not preferable to most quarterbacks in the league. Why would I give him a year to run my team instead of say, David Carr, who has the potential to play five? What does Brett Favre have to offer at this point in his life? Nothing. So he needs to sit down, shut up, and go back to his place as the over-the-hill, needing-to-retire quarterback of the Green Bay Packers who is seriously jeopardizing his once unblemished legacy.