NFL: Where Will Brett Favre Go Next?

Mackenzie KraemerSenior Analyst IJuly 11, 2008

With Brett Favre requesting his release, it's starting to get interesting in Green Bay. It appears like he wants to come back and play, but Green Bay is turning a blind eye to him.

Favre wants to have the choice to play wherever he wants, while the Packers have predictably stated that if he does apply for reinstatement, he will be Packers property.

I would imagine that Green Bay would try to move him for a draft pick somewhere, but what exactly is the market for a one-year quarterback rental?

There's also the aspect of how Favre would react. If Green Bay tries to keep him or trade him somewhere he doesn't want to go, he can simply stay retired. In that sense, he has control of where he plays regardless.

I can't imagine the Packers outright releasing him and potentially losing him to a rival for nothing. They do have the cap room (about $35M) to control his destiny.

But which teams would have interest in Favre?

In the AFC, there are five teams that could want a quarterback: Buffalo, Kansas City, Miami, Baltimore, and New York. It's hard to imagine Favre wanting to play in Kansas City or Miami, two rebuilding teams, so that leaves Buffalo and New York.

Buffalo has some positives for getting Favre. It is a small city in a cold-weather town, probably the most like Green Bay in that sense. But the Bills liked what they saw from Trent Edwards last season, and it's likely they will want to stick with him at quarterback.

Baltimore is definitely an option. With an unimpressive Kyle Boller and an unproven Joe Flacco, Favre would certainly get the chance to start. The defense is aging, but it's still full of playmakers, while Willis McGahee, Mark Clayton, Todd Heap, and Derrick Mason can be effective weapons.

The Jets also make a ton of sense. New York has declared an open competition at quarterback between veteran Chad Pennington and third-year signal-caller Kellen Clemens.

By not handing Clemens the job, they are showing that they are not quite ready to commit to him at quarterback. The offensive line was so atrocious last season that the Jets can't possibly make a full assessment on him, but it's clear that among AFC teams, the Jets and Ravens are the two best options.

Moving to the NFC, Minnesota, Carolina, Washington, Chicago, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and maybe Detroit and Arizona could use quarterbacks. However, if Green Bay holds onto Favre, rule out Minnesota, Detroit, and Chicago.

Arizona's a possibility, but are they going to spend the money? And are they willing to give up on former top pick Matt Leinart? They’ve clearly lost a lot of faith in him, but he deserves another chance.

Carolina is listed as a possibility by some, but reports indicate they are happy with Jake Delhomme as their starter. After all, he's been a good quarterback for them for years; he was just hurt last year. John Fox could try to gamble with Favre, but he'll likely stick with Delhomme.

San Francisco might be interested if they're willing to give up on Alex Smith, but either way, will Favre want to play for that team? He likely would not want to play for a still rebuilding 49ers team. They have talent, but it's hard to see them being a legitimate contender, even adding a hall of fame quarterback, but they are improving.

Atlanta just drafted Matt Ryan, and if they don't want to start him right away, Favre returning back to where it all started would be very interesting, but there's no way Favre would want to play in this situation.

Tampa Bay is always a destination for quarterbacks, but with Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown, Brian Griese, Josh Johnson, and Chris Simms all on the roster, will they really bring in another? Simms is likely gone, and Favre would be an upgrade. If they can move Garcia, they could definitely make a run at him.

Washington has its quarterback of the future and probably the present in Jason Campbell, as well as surprising veteran Todd Collins, but owner Dan Snyder might not trust either of those options.

They're certainly a contender, but would they be willing to stunt Jason Campbell's development? If they think they can win a Super Bowl with Favre, then it's possible.

So the primary four contenders are Baltimore, New York, Washington, and Tampa Bay. Let's look deeper at these four teams' chances.


Washington Redskins

Why Washington would want Favre: They made the playoffs as a wild-card team last season, and Favre of last season would be a major upgrade and potentially make them one of the teams to beat in the NFC.

Why Washington would pass on Favre: Jason Campbell is a good young quarterback, and Todd Collins is a reliable backup. Why bring in Favre, who until last season was playing on a similar level as Campbell. Plus, would Green Bay trade him to an NFC contender?

Why Favre would want Washington: If he wants to start on a playoff team from last season, this or Tampa Bay are his only two choices. There's talent for him to throw to, and there's an offensive line in place that will keep him upright.

Why Favre would pass on Washington: No real reason.

Odds: 10-1

Baltimore Ravens

Why Baltimore would want Favre: Simple. Their quarterback retired, and they have no current in-house options that are viable starting quarterbacks at this point (Kyle Boller, Troy Smith, and Joe Flacco). They have a gaping hole at quarterback this season, and they have a young stud in Flacco who can learn from an all-time great.

Why Baltimore would pass on Favre: New coach John Harbaugh has installed a new system, and this is the first year of his rebuilding process. This would deviate from that plan in favor of a quick fix. Favre could give them one big year, but then Harbaugh would have to deal with the Favre headache after the season. And when does Baltimore get sick of being a retirement home for aging quarterbacks?

Why Favre would want Baltimore: He is the clear starter here, and Baltimore's offense has long been looking for a quarterback.

Why Favre would pass on Baltimore: They are a team in transition. If he had a big year, does Baltimore have enough talent on their team to win a lot? Possibly, but it's a question mark. Plus, could the offensive line without Jon Ogden keep him upright?

Odds: 8-1

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Why Tampa Bay would want Favre: Same as Washington. They made the playoffs last season, and he is an upgrade over Jeff Garcia. He would make Tampa Bay more of a contender.

Why Tampa Bay would pass on Favre: Too many quarterbacks on the roster already. Garcia had a very good season in 13 games last season, and he's 38 years old like Favre.

Why Favre would want Tampa Bay: Maybe he'd want to move to a warm-weather climate, and Tampa would give him a chance to play against Green Bay this season.

Why Favre would pass on Tampa Bay: Again, this looks like a good opportunity for Favre if the Bucs want him.

Odds: 7-1


New York Jets

Why New York would want Favre: The Jets have a wide-open quarterback competition. Favre would end that, fulfilling the one need the Jets failed to address this off-season. Add him to the team and New England has a legitimate threat to the division. Kellen Clemens can learn from him, and the Jets could move Chad Pennington.

Why New York would pass on Favre: Eric Mangini might not want one player to be bigger than the team. This could stunt the development of Kellen Clemens, and the Jets would have to use up a large percentage of their remaining salary cap room on him.

Why Favre would want New York: He could see a talented young defense and a revamped offensive line that can keep him upright, and he can see himself as the missing piece.

Why Favre would pass on New York: As good as the Jets' offseason was, they still only won four games last season. Also, would he want to play in a big market in New York?

Odds: 6-1

Keep in mind, this is very preliminary, and it's subject to change. Maybe a team not listed steps up, or maybe this lasts deep into training camp and a starter somewhere gets hurt. Maybe Green Bay moves Aaron Rodgers and starts Favre. And there's always a chance that no one wants him, though not a very good chance.

And maybe they just release him and Minnesota picks him up.

Where do you think Brett Favre will end up?

Mackenzie Kraemer also writes for his New York Jets blog.


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