Brett Favre to Return to the NFL in 2011? Here Are 5 Places Favre Could End Up
It could very well be time, yet again, for the return of the summer soap opera that is Brett Favre. In what has become an annual rite of summer, speculation has surfaced in the last few days that Favre may not be done with football after all.
Despite the fact that the league and the players’ union have yet to reach an agreement to ensure that there will even be a 2011 season, rumors began to swirl earlier this week when longtime Cowboys exec Gil Brandt gave his thoughts in a NFL.com chat on Tuesday.
“I do think Favre would be interested in talking to a team about returning,” Brandt said. “But I don’t see a team out there right now that would bring him back as a starter.”
Of course, as we all know, the only way Favre would even consider coming back is if it’s in a starting role. The holder of nearly every significant league passing record isn’t going to return as a backup, rest assured.
Favre has been quoted on several occasions during the offseason that he is done with football. After enduring a brutal 2010 season in which his consecutive games played streak ended at 297, it seemed Favre had finally had enough after 20 seasons.
2010 was supposed to be Favre’s swan song….his shot at redemption after taking the Vikings to the brink of the Super Bowl in 2009, only to see a dream season turn into a nightmare with an ill-advised interception in the final minute versus the Saints.
That nightmare extended into the 2010 season for Favre and the Vikes. The team was never able to get on track, leading to the firing of coach Brad Childress, Favre finally succumbed to multiple injuries, and the team finished with a 6-10 record.
With a new season (maybe) upon us, could Brett Favre really be considering another comeback? Favre has apparently told friends that his arm still feels as good as ever. Of course, the question begs…does he still have that competitive drive that keeps him coming back, year after year?
And does he truly have anything “left in the tank?”
Hopefully, we have all learned by now that anything is possible with Favre. As the days pass and we move closer to the start of a new season, expect lots of back and forth on this issue, both from the media and from Favre himself.
Until the season starts without Favre on anybody’s roster, how can we expect anything less?
Here are five teams Favre could possibly step in and help in 2011.
5. Carolina Panthers
Would Favre mentor first pick Cam Newton in Carolina?
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
There has been speculation that Favre could land in Carolina to help mentor number one pick Cam Newton. Much of this speculation stems from the fact that Favre and Newton share the same agent, Bus Cook.
While Favre could definitely help speed the learning process for Newton, it seems somewhat questionable due to the fact that Favre has never really been considered a good mentor. After all, it’s well known that he did little to help Aaron Rodgers development in Green Bay.
While the Panthers have a good running back duo in DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, there doesn’t seem to be enough talent on both sides of the ball to persuade Favre to sign in Carolina, other than the connection with Newton.
Then again, if the Panthers are the only team interested, then this could be where Favre ends up.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The departure of Kurt Warner was a devastating blow to this team in 2010. After a breakthrough 2009, it seemed the Cards still had enough talent to make another run at the NFC West last year. But that didn’t happen with the QB play of Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton.
There are still weapons on the offensive side of the ball to potentially entice Favre to land in Arizona. All-Pro WR Larry Fitzgerald would be reason enough. And the running game is solid as well with Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells.
Add the climate controlled University of Phoenix stadium to the mix and this could be a place where Favre could regain some of that magic he brought to Minnesota in ’09.
3. Denver Broncos
Could Favre relegate Tebow back to the bench in '11?
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Would John Elway consider bringing in Favre for a season to make a run? A solid but not spectacular receiving corp along with stud RB Knowshon Moreno could be enough to bring Favre to the Mile High City.
After dealing with some seriously sub-standard QB play in Carolina the last few years, it would seem new head coach John Fox would welcome a player of Favre’s caliber with open arms.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
New head coach Jim Harbaugh inherits a team that is loaded on both sides of the ball. A great running game headlined by perennial pro-bowler Frank Gore combined with passing targets WR Michael Crabtree and TE Vernon Davis give the Niners multiple threats offensively. And the defense is among the leagues most talented as well.
Of course, the one position that is in question is at QB. Alex Smith has not lived up to being a number one pick, having been consistently inconsistent throughout his career.
And while Troy Smith may have provided a bit of a spark at times last year, it’s pretty clear he’s not the answer either.
This could be the best situation for the Ol’ Gunslinger to step in and take a team deep into the playoffs, especially in a weak division.
1. Minnesota Vikings
One more time?
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Why not? Favre knows the system better than the coaches, Adrian Peterson is still around, and you know Favre wants one last shot to erase last year’s epic failure.
Head Coach Leslie Frazier has been hot and cold since the end of last year on the topic of Favre but has generally conceded that the organization is moving forward without him.
This was evident on draft night when the Vikings reached for Florida State QB Christian Ponder with the number twelve pick.
But does Frazier or anyone in the organization believe that Ponder will be the one taking the snaps when the regular season starts?
Bringing Favre back for one more year would allow Ponder to watch and learn from the sidelines and possibly provide the Vikings best chance at making one more run with this roster.
Granted, there are still a lot of potential free agents that the Vikings may lose when the lockout ends, none bigger than WR Sidney Rice, Favre’s favorite target.
But despite the way last year ended, it would seem this could ultimately be the best fit for Favre if he indeed decides he wants to comeback.
And the Vikings may just be the one organization that would take him.