This is the NFL off-season right? It is amazing that the off-season of the NFL dominates the headlines more than other sports regular season. We have seen the NFL Draft, free agency, the debate over rookie contracts, defensive ends Dancing with the Stars and now the biggest dance of them all, the Brett Favre retirement tease. Just when you thought you would see your first season without #4 in Green Bay, it sounds as if we may be seeing Favre play again this fall… but will it be back in Green Bay?It seems like just a couple short months ago everyone was eulogizing the career of Brett Favre. However, yesterday rumors began to surface that we would soon see #4 attempting a comeback. Now as a Viking fan I obviously had a different perspective than most on his career. However, I think many would agree that Mr. Favre is now compromising both his legacy and the Green Bay Packer organization. Brett Favre’s shadow will remain over Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay for the next few years, but to hold the team captive as Favre is doing now just seems to be below his legend status.
Favre has held the Packer organization hostage for the last 3 years with his debate over retirement forcing them to be ready for the future but making sure to hold a place for him. Once he made his decision and held the press conference this spring announcing to the world that he could no longer bear the work weeks required to play at the top level, though he could still play on Sunday, he left Green Bay in a position where they had to move on. While Favre as a legend has earned the right to change his mind, he clearly puts the Packer organization in a difficult position given his recent decisions. I can only imagine that Green Bay’s front office was somewhat relieved to learn that Favre had made his decision early this off-season. While likely not quite so relieved to learn that he was leaving it was finally time to make Lambeau Field Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood.
That really gets to the person who gets the worst of the entire controversy. Aaron Rodgers has been told for years to be ready for when Brett Favre retired. Now like Charlie Brown he is running full force towards the football and it seems as thought it may be pulled away yet again. Rodgers has thus far handled sitting behind a legend with grace and made great showings when called upon (the Dallas game last fall). This entire situation leaves me wondering whether Favre coming back would lead to the end of Rodgers in Green Bay. For a first round pick, albeit one who had a long wait in the green room, to wait 3 years and then have the starting job pulled away in his fourth, Rodgers must want the opportunity to prove himself.
That then leads to the next question… could the Packers possibly trade Brett Favre? I personally cannot see this happening. Firstly, Favre would want to go to a contender which would limit his options. The obvious match brought up by many is a Favre to Minnesota move, can the Packers possibly trade their legend to a division rival? I think not. Most other contenders are set at quarterback which is why they are contenders. Where does that leave us? Green Bay would likely try to trade Favre to the AFC, maybe the Ravens or Jaguars or Bills would have interest. However there is no obvious match. There are two options if Favre wants to play: 1) He comes back to Green Bay and they again bench Aaron Rodgers or 2) Green Bay agrees to release him and he chooses a situation that fits him. The second scenario seems unimaginable at this point, so I think we will either see Favre back in Green and Gold or retired at this point.
Maybe as sports fans we should have learned our lesson by now. After all, what is retirement other than a short-term vacation? I mean ask Michael Jordan, Roger Clemens or any boxer… if you can find one.
With all this said, it probably is best for Green Bay if Favre comes back this year. They likely become an immediate Super Bowl contender, and their popularity shoots back up the charts. However, it leaves one to wonder what would happen next year? Would the same drama play out? Would Aaron Rodgers still be there? Stay tuned next year for more “As the Favre Turns.”