According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, legendary quarterback and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre has informed the Vikings he will not be returning for a second season.
Favre's storied career, which spanned 19 spectacular seasons, will leave him with several NFL passing records including most passing yards (69,329), and most touchdown passes (497).
If this third retirement from Favre is indeed the final one, it was a privilege and an honor to watch Favre and his 19 stellar seasons in the NFL.
But while Favre's news of his retirement is somewhat shocking to Vikings fans and fans of the NFL in general, there are individuals and teams who are ready to take advantage of this shocking news, while others could see their stock fall dramatically.
Who are the winners and losers of the retirement of Brett Favre?
There are many.
Vikings head coach Brad Childress could emerge as the biggest loser. At times it seemed like he had no control over Favre.
The two had a public disagreement after issues concerning play-calling in a loss at Carolina last season. They would reconcile and Favre would lead the Vikings to the NFC Championship, a game they would lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Saints.
Childress had reportedly traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss. recently to discuss Favre's future with the Vikings, but No. 4 did not give Childress a definite answer.
Brad Childress will now has a dilemma over who will take over for one of NFL's all-time great quarterbacks.
Young, athletic wide receivers such as Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe truly blossomed as NFL-caliber playmakers with Brett Favre as signal-caller.
With the retirement of Favre, Minnesota may rely more on running back Adrian Peterson to relieve pressure off of the starting quarterback, which in turn, would take catches away from the Vikings' reliable trio of wideouts.
Whether it is Rosenfels or Jackson taking over at quarterback, they do not have the arm that Favre possessed, which could limit the big-play ability of speedsters, Rice and Harvin.
The Worldwide Leader in Sports has to be a loser in this case, as so much media attention —albeit rightfully deserved—was given to the 19-year veteran of the NFL, Favre.
ESPN has been focused on Favre possible retirements since 2006.
Favre retired after 16 seasons with Green Bay, only to be traded to the New York Jets. After one season in the Big Apple, he retired once again and signed with the Vikings last offseason.
ESPN was on top of every single move made by Favre, but with No. 4 calling it a career today, many people, including ESPN, will wonder what could have been had Favre stayed one final season.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers were already considered a frontrunner to survive the crowded NFC and reach their first Super Bowl since 1998.
Now with the news of their former quarterback of 16 years, Brett Favre, retiring, expectations may be as high as ever.
Green Bay will now be in prime position to win the NFC North and, if they can lock up home-field advantage, that would result in an ice-cold road game for other contenders in the NFC.
The Packers stock may be as high it has been in recent memory, and titletown could once again become a favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season.
The Cowboys' chances of becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium may have very well increased significantly.
Favre and the Vikings forcefully eliminated the Cowboys from last year's playoffs, a humbling 34-3 defeat that reminded Dallas of their recent postseason struggles.
Dallas showed improvement on both sides of the ball and peaked at the right time of the season before the postseason loss against Minnesota.
No team more than the Cowboys want to take advantage of Favre retiring. With Dallas resembling the Minnesota offense that nearly reached the Super Bowl last year, there may be strong consideration for the 'Boys to play the most important home game in their storied history.
New Orleans Saints
The defending Super Bowl champions seem to be overlooked by many to make repeat a trip to the biggest game in sports, but there may be another party soon in New Orleans as the Saints' chances of accomplishing that incredible feat will increase.
It was Favre and the Vikings that nearly defeated the Saints in last year's NFC Championship Game, before a 40-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley sealed Minnesota's fate.
New Orleans would go on to defeat the Indianapolis Colts, 31-17, in the Super Bowl, in which many Vikings fans were left thinking "What if?"
With the potential retirement of Favre, Drew Brees and the Saints will be primed to become the first team since the 2003 and 2004 New England Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl Champions.
Sage Rosenfels/Tarvaris Jackson
With Brett Favre reportedly retiring, the gaping hole that will be left at quarterback will be filled by either Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson.
Jackson lead the Vikings to the playoffs in 2008 but lost in the Wild Card Round to the Philadelphia Eagles.
The 6-2, 232-pound Jackson is willing and able to lead the Vikings to another postseason, especially given the stability on both sides of the ball. If he should start in place of Favre, he will have plenty of weapons to make an impact this season.
Sage Rosenfels was acquired by Minnesota from the Houston Texans as an insurance policy for Favre and Jackson.
Rosenfels has thrown 30 touchdowns and 29 interceptions during his eight-year tenure in the NFL but could emerge as a solid quarterback with the Vikings.
The league will undoubtedly miss the soon-to-be Hall of Famer and NFL legend but the NFL and fans are truly winners for being given the opportunity to watch Favre mature, develop and become an icon in the NFL.
Favre set an astounding record of 285 consecutive starts at quarterbacks, a record that will more than likely be held intact for years to come.
An 11-time Pro-Bowler, a three-time NFL MVP and 12 consecutive years of 20 or more touchdown passes, Favre is truly one of the all-time greatest players in NFL history.
From a young quarterback being drafted to the Atlanta Falcons, to his 16 seasons with Green Bay, to his trade to the New York Jets, to his final season with the Minnesota Vikings last year, Favre matured and developed in front of our very eyes and has provided fans with plenty of memories and images that will never be forgotten.
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