“He has the itch…,” mentioned Al Harris, a guest host on ESPN’s NFL Live this Wednesday, when asked about Brett Favre’s potential comeback. He went on to say about Aaron Rodgers, “We embrace Aaron. We support Aaron. Aaron is our quarterback. Brett is retired, but if he wants to come back, there will be some guys that wouldn’t mind it.” Chris Mortensen of ESPN also reported that Favre had made Head Coach McCarthy aware of his “itch” to play. “Mort” also reported that a source in Green Bay made him aware that Favre’s family is pushing him to return. Personally, I don’t think he’s going to return, but I’d be lying if I told you it wouldn’t make me happy to see him back. I just don’t believe it benefits Green Bay in the long run. Some bloggers and fans have argued that everyone would want him back. He had a stellar season last year, taking the Packers to a 13 and 3 record, their best since the 97′ season, as well as the NFC Championship game. Not to mention the QB records he acquired.
Veterans who have played with Favre who know his resolve and his dedication to game of football would probably like him back. The fans who have grown up watching Favre behind center, taking every snap, and acting as field general would definitely like him back. The NFL big-wigs know for certain that with Favre back, even if the Packers don’t do well, ratings will be enormous. The league understands that even the casual football fan, who doesn’t watch or root for a certain team, knows who Brett Favre is, and that may make them more inclined to watch the “Iron Man”. So, the NFL surely wants him back.
But who else?
The reaction, or lack there of, from the Green Bay Packer’s front office and management seems to indicate that they aren’t convinced that he will return. But an assumption can be made as to how the team really feels by looking at what off-season moves they’ve made. For example, drafting two young, highly talented quarterbacks could be a good indication of how they intend to deal with this situation. After seeing Mini Camp videos posted on the Packer’s website, along with player interviews and reactions, I think it is safe to say that the rebuilding process had begun the moment Favre took the podium to announce his retirement. GM Ted Thompson has done a wonderful job analyzing the team’s needs and filling the roster with young talent to compliment their veteran play-makers. Head Coach Mike McCarthy has mentioned that he is very excited with the depth that the Packer’s roster possesses, and that the direction the team is headed in is extremely positive. So, that seems to be where the team stands. But where does Brett stand?
When contacted about the comments made pertaining to his return, Favre text messaged a writer at the Biloxi Sun Herald acknowledging that “it’s all rumor”, and that he has made no official statement about wanting to return to the team next season. Well that’s a load off.
But, let’s just say, for the sake of argument that Brett did decide to return. With him still being under contract for two more years, the Packers would have three options; play him, release him, or cut him. I think the Packer’s organization would most likely play him, they would certainly not release him, because Ted Thompson would understand that releasing him would be considered bad business, but the third option of cutting him would not surprise me. Not only would I not be surprised if that happened, I would also find it hard to sympathize with Brett. Keep in mind, I am an enormous Packer fan. He’s been through this song and dance before, remember? Maybe not to the extent of officially announcing his retirement, but he has teased the league, the organization, and most importantly, the fans by neglecting to make any decision until days before training camp. Consequently, it doesn’t leave the team to make many off-season moves to prepare for either his return or his retirement.
A good example of Favre twiddling his thumbs was back in 2006. While attending the Daytona 500, Troy Aikman answered a question presented to him regarding Favre’s retirement after a 4 and 12 season, “…I know that going out and having seasons like what he went through this past year is really frustrating and it just isn’t much fun. So I don’t know what he’s going to do. I think the fact that he is having a hard time making the decision, in some ways, to me, that kind of has made the decision for him.” As it turns out, Aikman was one among many retired Super Bowl Quarterbacks Favre had contacted for advice, so his remarks weren’t entirely invalid. Eventually, Favre made the announcement that he would be returning, but it was a little over a week before training was to begin. I feel he should have made his decision well before the draft, but that’s me.
Leaving the league, the fans and the organization in the dark is something that just shouldn’t happen. Personally, I believe it is very unprofessional. I know I am going to catch a lot of heat from readers and Green Bay Fans for this article, but they just need to understand that I’m concerned with the long term. Sure there is possibility that the Packers could win another Super Bowl if Brett returns, and that is awesome, but he only has a couple years left in him. I believe that we need to put together a cast of players that can evolve together. I try to let go of the past and look to the future at the start of every season, and the future in Green Bay is Aaron Rodgers… or Brian Brohm… or maybe Matt Flynn, or whoever else they decide to throw under center. Favre’s return would be intriguing and entertaining to say the least, but I don’t think the team would benefit much from it in the long term.
I’m 24 years old now. That means I was 7 years old when Favre was drafted. I’ve rooted for Favre for the majority of my life, I’m a huge Favre fan. But understand this as well, I am first and foremost a Green Bay Packer fan. No matter how many times I scream at the Television set, or throw my hat at the wall, or shout expletives into a pillow so the neighbors upstairs don’t call the police, I’m still a Cheese Head! And I will always be!
GO PACK GO!
Submitted By: Mark Minguey