Brett Favre: To Leave Or Not To Leave?

Brandon ButeraContributor IAugust 5, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24:  Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings sits on the bench towards the end of the game against the New Orleans Saints during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

That is the question. Again.

Oh yes. August arrives and football season is yet again within our sights. In nearly a month, it will start all over again. And after another season full of surprises, football fans are anxious to see what will happen this time around.

Training camps start rolling and preseason creeps up, with the same old questions popping around. Who is going to be healthy for the start of the season? Who is winning starting positions? Who will have the breakout season of their career, and who will fall to injury? Who will be the Superbowl champions?

And, of course, will Brett Favre retire or play one more season?

Yes, among all the uncertainties, there is still the certainty that the same question of the past three seasons will boggle the minds of football fans everywhere. Will football great and future Hall of Famer Brett Favre stay another season or retire for good?

As Vikings training camp starts without the star QB, everyone forms their opinion on what his decision is going to be. Favre and his agents avoid the media. Brad Childress and the Vikings say as little as possible about the topic. But really, it can't be avoided.

The media brings all the attention of that football world to this situation. They begin reporting rumors as they hear them.

They claim Favre sent text messages to close teammates insinuating he will not play another season in the NFL. The next day they report that Favre will go back to the NFL if his ankle healed. Etc. Etc. It goes back and forth, back and forth.

There are only a few facts in the situation. Such as the fact that Brad Childress and the Vikings are reported to have offered Favre a 7 million dollar raise from last year's contract. The new deal is 20 million dollars.

But in a recent interview, Favre repeatedly claimed that it is not about the money. How much he is offered will not make his decision....well mostly.

What will apparently make his decision is the health of his ankle.

Favre was spotted at a high school football team's practice in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Favre threw passes to the kids and moved around a bit. But it was noticed that he wasn't putting much pressure on that ankle.

Though, recent reports also claim that Favre has been running on that ankle out on the field. So nobody knows for sure whether Favre's ankle is o.k. or not.

Through all the drama and uncertainty one thing is known. Favre's decision will have a great impact on the NFL. With Tarvaris Jackson at the helm, the Vikings are a much less dangerous team.

That would make an easier schedule for the teams in their division. Mainly, Green Bay. This will give the Packers the opportunity to dominate the division and drive right into the playoffs. Therefore, it will also make a difference throughout the entire NFC. One of the top playoff contenders will be weakened, giving opportunities to other teams to make the playoffs.

On the other hand, Favre's return would obviously strengthen the Vikings team. They would, once again, be a force to be reckoned with in the NFC and a top playoff contender.

Favre could even win one more championship ring, and strengthen a few more records. Maybe even break a few more. The NFL would be entirely different.

Either way, Favre's decision will send ripples throughout the whole NFL.

Then there is an even more important question of his health and the risk of greater injuries. Favre will turn 41 in October, and in the NFL he will be getting hammered consistently week after week throughout the season.

Each possible decision has different scenarios, advantages, and disadvantages.

No matter which way he goes, the Vikings need to get this out of their way. They need to focus on the upcoming season. And the only way to do this is for Favre to make a decision. Soon.

So, which is it? Will Brett Favre stay or will he leave?

This is the 20 million dollar question.

A question that can change the entire fate of the NFL 2010 season.

A question that only time will tell. And, for the Vikings, hopefully it doesn't take too long to tell it.