NFL 2010: What Legacy Does Brett Favre Leave Behind?

MJ KasprzakSenior Writer IIDecember 14, 2010

Brett Favre made many coaches and fans have this reaction throughout his career
Brett Favre made many coaches and fans have this reaction throughout his careerLeon Halip/Getty Images

Finally, an obstacle too severe for Brett Favre to play.

After all the knee and ankle sprains, broken fingers and ankles, tendinitis, biceps tears and a concussion, a separated shoulder (not his first) does him in.

Whether he should or should not have played, whether it was his competitive nature or he put himself before the team, there is no denying the unparalleled mental and physical toughness it takes to play through that kind of injury list every game.

And if all goes well, maybe fans finally are spared a sixth-month offseason of the "Annual Retirement Soap Opera."

Even if you choose not to take Favre at his word (and who would under normal circumstances given his record on that matter over the last three seasons?), after this season's performance, teams may not want him. There is no way he plays for less than eight figures, and no way he is worth that kind of money anymore.

Favre had his worst passer rating in any season, in which he has attempted more than four passes. He had his lowest completion percentage in 10 years. He led the league in turnovers through 12 games, with 23, and had just 10 touchdowns.

And of course, there is the baggage. Since first retiring in 2008, he has been at the center of controversy.

He had a messy divorce with the team that gave him his first start. That ended with him being traded to the New York Jets, and admitting that he had wanted to go within the division to get revenge on the team for not giving him back the starting job that was now Aaron Rodgers'.

While with the Jets, it was reported that he had fed Matt Millen, of the Detroit Lions, information to help them (fail to) beat the Green Bay Packers. While he denied it, Favre also added, "It's not against the rules." Why point that out if you are innocent?

As he finished a promising season 1-3 with two touchdowns and nine picks, there were clashes with his coach and teammates reported. He asked for his release saying he would not be back, then took advantage of the release to go to the team he had wanted to all along—where he coincidentally could play his former team he had once admitted to wanting revenge on twice per season, but not until after training camp started so he could miss some extra work.

Once with that team, he clashed with his coach in a game in the middle of a 2-3 stretch, then (after missing much of the offseason work again) continued those clashes very publicly in the following season.

Just in case that was not enough baggage, we know that the self-proclaimed family man, at the very least, had inappropriate contact with a voluptuous sideline reporter while with the Jets.

But will this be his legacy?

Another legacy Favre will not want is that his final official throw, in all four previous seasons, was an interception. Two cost his team a chance to go to the Super Bowl.

Will that be his legacy?

It is proof that it is better to retire too soon than too late.

I am reminded of a friend of mine who is younger than I am, saying that Dan Marino was overrated. His lasting image of Dan was after his ruptured Achilles tendon, when he threw 122 touchdowns and 84 interceptions. There is currently no player more frequently called overrated than Favre, and it is too bad (though entirely Favre's fault) that many young people will only have all the negatives to remember him by.

I am sorry, but a guy who plays in over 300 consecutive games (including playoffs) and holds almost every record that exists for quarterbacks is not overrated. How much less when he takes his team to the conference championship with a 107.2 passer rating at the age of 40?

If he won a few more of those big games and threw fewer of those boneheaded passes, he would be the greatest of all-time. Maybe that is his legacy—"Not as great as he could have been."