Brett Favre Calling It Quits? We've Heard This Before...
In an interview with Steve Mariucci, Brett Favre was asked a simple, direct question: Are you coming back in 2011? His response: a quick, simple, "No."
As a Packer fan, I recall a few years ago there was a certain press conference where similar things were said. Those things turned out to be lies, as Brett demanded to not only play, but start. Long story short, Brett didn't get his way, went to the Jets for a year and then the Vikings for two (in case you didn't know).
His reasoning for choosing the hated Vikings after the Jets released him? To be reunited with a familiar coach: former quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell.
After a 12-4 season and a run to the NFC Championship Game, Brett's 2010 campaign is looking to be one of his worst. After this season, his contract is up and by all indications, Minnesota is not looking to re-sign him. Couple that with his admission to Mariucci that he has no intentions of playing past this season, and it would appear that Brett's really going to hang it up.
If you're wondering why I'm not laughing, its because I've heard this joke before.
Brett Favre's waffling is legendary. Ad campaigns were based around it. He poked fun at himself for it.
But all joking aside, Brett Favre is a competitor, and the urge to retire as a champion eats away at him faster than Father Time eats away at his old joints. He nearly had it in 2007 with the Packers, losing the NFC Championship Game, then two years later as a Viking. But instead of himself getting to retire on top of the mountain in 2007, it was his good friend Michael Strahan.
Maybe Favre will stick to his guns this time and actually call it quits after the last snap of the year. Maybe not. I don't think too many will be surprised if he changes his mind. After all the times he has retired, un-retired, re-retired, un-re-retired, re-un-re-retired, nobody will be shocked this time.
So where might he land? Let's find out.
He Stays Retired
Brett Favre actually follows through with it, hangs it up and spends his fall afternoons raking leaves instead of throwing touchdowns and interceptions. After 20 years of abuse and with his name all over the record books, chasing a championship is just too much. Couple that with having a grandson to play with, and it's just too much to miss by playing another season in the NFL.
Will he actually stay retired then or will he pull a Vinny Testaverde?
If a team comes to him in dire straits, will the urge to show that he can lead a team from rags to riches entice him back to the NFL?
My take: This is the most likely scenario. After a poor showing this season, mismanagement in the Vikings organization and the Jenn Sterger incident, Brett Favre is ready to get out of the negative spotlight for a while.
Vikings Re-Sign Him
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After firing Brad Childress, the Vikings need some leadership to guide the team to relevance.
Who better than the guy who led them to a recent championship game? A guy with more wins than any QB in history? More TDs, more yards, more everything? Of course it will cost a boatload of cash, but sometimes you need to pay to win.
Darrell Bevell gets the head coaching job and gives Favre the freedom to call his own plays on the line—something Childress, a control freak, would never do. All this gives Brett the incentive to stick it out for another season and hopefully get that championship he so desperately wants.
My take: While the firing of Brad Childress seems pretty likely, as does the promotion of Darrell Bevell, I don't see Minnesota throwing even more coin in Favre's direction, especially if they can get a top-flight rookie in the draft to lead the franchise for the next 15 years.
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Why the Cleveland Browns? That guy right there in the picture. Mike Holmgren made Brett Favre. He made him a champion, an MVP, a record-setter. Without Holmgren, there would be no Brett Favre.
And Favre knows that. So with no clear-cut QB in Cleveland, could his former student ask for another shot? And would Holmgren bite?
Mike Holmgren is no stranger to keeping guys he's familiar with. He brought in Seneca Wallace this offseason, and while he was in Seattle, he and Green Bay traded plenty of guys back and forth (Matt Hasselbeck, Ahman Green, etc). So to say that it's completely out of the question is a bit premature.
Colt McCoy is a good quarterback but he's the only young quarterback worthy of playing time on the team. Jake Delhomme still mystifies observers as to how he's still in the NFL. Wallace is a career backup. McCoy is the only one who seems worthy to start.
My take: While Holmgren would love to have Brett, that would've been about 10 years ago. Favre now is not the quarterback Holmgren had in Green Bay, and to bench a young, talented guy (like what Minnesota did to Tarvaris Jackson) would be pretty damaging.
I do think if Favre ends up playing somewhere outside of Minnesota, it's in Cleveland.
The Rest of the NFL Teams That Need a Good Quarterback Now
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There are a bunch of other teams who might have limited interest in a 41-year-old quarterback with a slew of records and a penchant for throwing interceptions in critical situations.
Five teams quickly come to mind as having less-than-stellar quarterbacks: Jacksonville, Carolina, Buffalo, Miami and San Francisco.
I will quickly discount the Jaguars and the Niners. David Garrard is an average to above-average QB. Alex Smith is a top draft pick with an injury problem and zero coaching continuity. With a good coaching support system, Smith will be fine.
That leaves Carolina, Buffalo and Miami.
Buffalo will most likely get the top pick in the draft. That means they get their franchise QB (Andrew Luck looks like the most likely candidate) and will have no reason to take a 21-year vet.
Carolina has Jimmy Clausen, who looked NFL-ready but fell in the draft, right past the Vikings, leaving them without a contingency plan.
As for the Dolphins, they have Chad Henne, but he's been inconsistent and has yet to show he is a true franchise QB.
My take: None of these scenarios happen. No chance, really. A GM would have to be in dire straits to take a risk like Brett Favre, and Favre's services don't come cheap. If he went to any of these teams, Buffalo would pick him up to teach their top pick. But that's not likely to happen.
How It All Shakes Out
Favre hangs it up. No, really, he does! He and Ted Thompson kiss and make up, and Brett signs a deal to retire as a Packer, so long as he doesn't come back to the NFL. Ever.
Brett gets to sit at the podium and cry about retirement again and everyone just nods and smiles. But then he stays retired and everyone can just move on.
Cris Collinsworth has to retire from broadcasting because he has no outlet for his Madden-size man-crush on Brett Favre. John Madden himself, for once, is speechless. The day that would never come, comes.
Brett Favre gets his number retired by the Packers, is quickly inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame and is a first-ballot Hall Of Famer. No surprises here. Just waiting until he stopped playing.
Agree, or disagree, leave a comment!