At the end of last year, the depth of the Packers were one of their main strengths. Their ability to rotate defensive and offensive players when needed was kept their team fresh and able to withstand any unfortunate injuries. This year, their depth have cost them numerous games, especially today's matchup against the Panthers and Favre is the one to blame.
On Feb. 29, 2008, the Packers traded Corey Williams to the Cleveland Browns for a second round selection (56th overall) in the NFL Draft. That gave the Packers three choices within the first 60 selections, which appeared would be used to provide even more depth for next year's team.
Four days later Brett Favre announced his retirement and the direction of the 2008 team changed dramatically.
Without a proven quarterback, the Packers chose two offensive players with their first two picks and a total of seven offensive players out of nine total picks for the draft.
This made it clear that Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy were trying to provide as many offensive weapons as possible for first-time starter Aaron Rodgers. Other than Brett Favre, the Packers lost no offensive starters from a 2007 team that had the second ranked offense in the NFL.
The Packers were making the best of the situation and were actually fortunate to have so many higher draft picks to give Aaron Rodgers every chance to succeed.
On July 3, 2008, rumors started to circulate that Brett Favre wanted to return to football and the Green Bay Packers.
After months of a very publicized drama between Favre and the Packers, the team decided to stay committed to Aaron Rodgers after preparing their team physically and mentally for life "After Favre."
Many people wondered why Favre retired if he still wanted to play football four months later, his response was that he felt "pressured" by the Packers to make a decision.
I'm very sorry Brett, but for the past four off-seasons the Packers have had to wait many months for a decision from you on whether you were going to retire or not. A couple of times the Packers were going into the draft not knowing officially whether they were going to have their starting QB back for the next year!
This past draft was a very crucial one for the Packers that could set them up to be perennial Super Bowl contenders for many years ahead. I do not think it was too much to ask to have an answer from Favre by March on whether he was going to come back or not.
So the Packers spent most of their draft picks on offense to help Aaron Rodgers and sacrificed improving depth in key areas. After watching the results so far from this year, injuries to Nick Barnett, Atari Bigby, Cullen Jenkins, Al Harris, Charles Woodson and James Jones have taken a sharp toll on the Packers and unfortunately they do not have the depth this year to compensate. Because of Brett Favre's selfishness, the Packers took a major step backwards for this year's team.
The future of this team is still bright, but at this point, their depth is a serious concern and their future could become very hazy if it is not correctly fixed in next year's draft.