This question has bounced around long enough now. First of all, is this rumor really true or has someone's comment just been taken out of context?
Seriously, is news from the NFL so slow this time of year that agents now have to resort to fabrication in order to get their clients name back in front of the press? Could this be a method that Favre's "people" are using to try and make contact with a potential team for Brett to play one more season with?
I would not doubt that there is some truth to the rumor. I would venture to bet that the origin of it lies somewhere between Brett Favre wanting to play for one more season and knowing that he is not really wanted back in Green Bay.
He also probably has someone, like his agent, looking at other teams and coming up with the Carolina Panthers as a team that could potentially make a deep playoff run if they could only be assured of their quarterback position.
This seems like a logical desire for a veteran quarterback wanting one more year to play to aim for a good team with a possible weakness that he could certainly help out with. A place like Carolina could be a team where Favre could fit, that is, if everything fell into line for him.
All we seem to know for sure is that Profootballtalk.com reported that Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told someone that Favre would like to play for the Carolina Panthers this season. Profootballtalk.com is a source for news and rumor in the NFL and more times than not it is a pretty good source for useful information.
This story or non-story did gain enough traction this weekend to garner a response from the Carolina Panther's GM Marty Hurney who said, "I don't know where these things come from."
I do not know how to read between the lines, (that is, if there are even any lines to try and read between here) but Hurney's quote was kind of vague, to say the least.
Now, had Hurney been more specific and said something like, "we appreciate the consideration but the Panthers feel completely set at the quarterback position going forward into 2008" or "it would be nice to have the option to strengthen our roster with a veteran quarterback" then Favre and his agent would better know how to proceed.
Either of those responses could easily have opened or closed the door on the topic. Things have been done this way before, through the media. It is a way for an agent to float a proposition without having to worry about having a client being seen publicly as unwanted.
The truth is that we have no idea what is going on behind the scenes. Favre's agent, Bus Cook, could be on a conference call right now with the Panthers or he and Favre may now be working on "plan b" deciding which other team he would like to play for in 2008. But for some reason someone chose Carolina and no matter what the truth is, it does pose an interesting scenario.
Could the Carolina Panthers be that close to moving back into title "hunt" in the NFC and would a quality veteran quarterback make all of the difference? Last year showed us that anything is possible.
Carolina Panther fans thought they had this season all mapped out. After all, the Panthers have a new bag of offensive weapons and their defensive secondary and line backing corps are in better shape than ever.
The only real question that remains around Carolina is, "How is Jake Delhomme's elbow going to be when the hits start coming?" The answer so far has been positive. Panther coaches and receivers all say that Jake is throwing stronger and better than ever. But there is still that tiny question about Jake.
What if week one of the regular season saw the Panthers down to the San Diego Chargers by two points with 30 seconds left and only one timeout with the ball on the 50 yard line? It is third-and-10 and Jake is flushed from the pocket and meets Shawne Merriman, the hard way, then comes up grabbing his elbow. Then what do you do?
Carolina fans all loved Matt Moore's efforts last season, but is Matt Moore the guy you want to go with in that situation, with the game on the line?
What if there was another option. What if Coach Fox could walk over and have Brett Favre strap his helmet on and go in and get the win? That would be nice for Panther fans but it would also be nearly impossible. Favre has probably reached the point in his heart and in NFL history where it would be impossible for him to play behind anyone.
I feel better off with a healthy Delhomme under center in Carolina than I do about plugging in Favre right before preseason starts. We know Favre admittedly had no fun dealing with game prep in Green Bay and how do you think he may feel learning a whole new system in Carolina?
It just seems odd to think that Favre, at age 38, would be very excited about trying to run anything but some form of a basic "west coast offense." With that in mind, Tampa Bay seems like a better fit if Favre really wanted to play in warm weather, closer to his Mississippi roots and in a system that he is very good at.
The big problem with not considering Favre as a possible player is history. A look at last season saw the Panther coaching staff painfully play David Carr for at least two games more than they should have. We all watched as the Panthers went as far as signing Vinnie Testaverde to try and help the team get into the playoff hunt.
We also saw Matt Moore have a late season run and finish up the 2007 season looking like he could be a future starter in the league. So, thinking of last season and remembering how hard it is to win in the NFL without a quality quarterback has to make any responsible GM consider taking someone like Favre unless their team has 100 percent confidence in their quarterback position.
Also, Favre is not going to sign for the league minimum. It has been reported Favre had asked Green Bay to release him, which they would not do. Therefore, one can only assume the Packers are going to ask for something fairly substantial in exchange for the rights to their well-aged superstar quarterback and after that Favre is going to cost any team a small bundle as his current contract pays him $12 million this year.
Now, Favre’s contract amount is certainly not set in stone and if he was to be released by Green Bay then he may well be signed for half of his current contract amount or less. In that case, Mr. Favre becomes more affordable and more attractive.
Remember, the Panthers paid David Carr $3 million a year to backup Jake Delhomme and if they could have someone like Brett Favre for another million or so then it would have to be worth taking a look.
The Packers would probably want draft picks in exchange for Favre. Carolina is really light on draft picks but they do have one more linebacker than they need on their roster this season. The Panthers have no first round picks next year and that makes a second round pick hard to part with at this time.
If there was a deal with the Carolina Panthers it would almost have to involve a trade or a combination of a trade and a possible late round draft pick in exchange for Favre. More than that and it becomes almost too costly.
If the Panthers could get Favre in a backup role and do it all without getting rid of any other starters and also by not sacrificing the future of the team then I would have to be for it.
With that said, Favre would be great in the Panther's backup QB role. Then, if Delhomme did have elbow issues or if he had problems with ball control or any other injury I could easily see Favre getting the nod to start while Delhomme continues to rehab.
Problem is, I do not see Favre playing second fiddle to anyone. But it sure would have been nice to have had someone like Favre on the Panther's sideline last season when Delhomme went down. It looks for now like the Panther faithful have to pin their hopes on Delhomme's elbow being 100 percent and if not then they had better hope that Matt Moore is the next Jake Delhomme.