The biggest news out of the NFL
last week was a report that Brett Favre
had requested a trade from the Packers
after the NFL Draft.
And who could have blamed him?
Favre came back hoping the Pack would be able to improve upon its 8-8 record of a year ago. After four months of twiddling its thumbs, the franchise is no closer to the playoffs—and it may have even taken a step backwards.
The veteran quarterback said as much during a polite interview in which he aired some of his understandable grievances. In all honesty, Favre was too nice: Things are much worse in Green Bay
than his mini-outburst would lead people to believe.
In a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately kind of world, the Packers' answer is, "Not a whole lot, really; just been hanging out." The Packers right now are that lazy kid who bums around the mall waiting for a sale at the Gap—while his friends Chicago
, and Detroit
go shopping at Nordstrom with Mom's credit card.
For the record, Green Bay has done something
this offseason—the Pack signed Frank Walker, a cornerback from the New York Giants
. You might remember Walker's tackle in the Giants
game last year. Or you might not.
The Packers' draft performance wasn't any more inspiring. Justin Harrell, the team's first-round pick, played all of two games last season for Tennessee
before getting injured. Those must have been two spectacular games. Other draftees included a bunch of guys no one has really heard of, including Green Bay's starting running back for 2007.
Oh for the days of Ron Wolf.
Brett Favre deserves better than this. He is the heart and soul of the Packers. He's been the face of the franchise for years. In a small town that reveres its football team, he has been the perfect star quarterback—always saying and doing the right things.
Favre's asking for a trade out of Green Bay is like the Pope asking for a trade out of the Vatican. Of course, if the Catholic Church surrounded His Popeness with a bunch of second-rate cardinals and started sainting the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants, the Pontiff would go Mormon faster than you can say LDS.
It's hard to understand Green Bay's logic here. They're coming off a season that ended with a four-game winning streak. They have the franchise quarterback returning to help lead the team to the playoffs. Yet they spend the offseason sitting on their checkbook.
Could the Packers be building for the future? Well, technically, in order to build, one would need to purchase building supplies—and all the Packers have bought this offseason is a ticket to the top of the 2008 draft.
Could they believe that they're good enough as they are? Unless they think that a .500 record is a sign of NFL success, I highly doubt it.
Could the Green Bay brass have decided that running the ball is completely overrated? Yes, they might have actually thought this. And no, this is absolutely not the case.
If the Packers are to have any chance of maintaining last year's momentum, they'll need a balanced attack. Right now, their pool of skill players includes Vernand Morency (I think I drove a Morency in high school), Donald Driver (a homeless man's Marvin Harrison), Bubba Franks (who has become about as athletic as his name might suggest), and Greg Jennings (a number-four receiver moonlighting as a number-two).
Getting rid of (and not replacing) Ahman Green could really set the team back, and losing Favre could cripple the fan base for years.
The time is now for the Packers. Swing a big trade. Sign a free agent. Find a way to play against Rex Grossman every week. Anything would be better than what they've done so far.
Thankfully, it's not too late to turn things around. There's even a sale at the Gap this weekend.