Now here is a topic that has been beaten to death and beyond over the last four months: Brett Favre's retirement. Is he really gone? Is he coming back? Where the Hell is Hattiesburg, Mississippi? We've all heard the questions. We've heard about every phone call and seen every tear-filled press conference. We can't take it anymore! But we want to hear more. Or maybe we don't. You tell me. Oh, and yes it does affect the Broncos. You'll see how later.
However, the one thing that seems to be forgotten in this pseudo-retirement hoopla is what would actually happen if the 38-year-old quarterback indeed returns for an 18th professional season. After reading an article from SI's Peter King that details the possible ways his return could head, my head is spinning in all sorts of wonderful directions.
As King points out, this would be terrible news for the Pack. They have a youngster who is ready to go, and for three years has been waiting in the wings. And waiting. And waiting. He looked ready to go in limited action in a game against Dallas last year, and he has been running the Packers' first team offense all summer. He is building team bonds and becoming a leader in the shadow of a former legend in much the same way as our very own Jay Cutler. Of course, Jay doesn't have to worry about John Elway coming back and playing any time soon, but they are in the same relative boat.
So, this brings me back to the whole point of the post: what to do with Brett if he does come back. King states that the Pack have three options: keep Brett and start him, trade him, or release him. King mentions a fourth option, try to convince Brett to stay retired and take up golf or fishing or something, but if Brett wants to play, Brett will play, dammit!
From here on out in this post, it will be entirely my opinion, so feel free to disagree with it, or add anything that you think would help.
Personally, I don't think the Packers will keep Brett Favre. If I'm Aaron Rodgers, and I get my starting shot and the coaches take it right back from me like I didn't matter, I would be understandably angry. Rodgers' contract expires in 2009, and it is unlikely that he would think twice about re-signing if the Pack let Favre back in. Then they would be wasting a talent, who has already began to establish himself and seems to be liked by his teammates and is a high character guy. And in a couple of years when Favre retires (again) they would have to begin the search for a new, new franchise QB and start the rebuilding process all over again.
So rule out keeping Favre. That leaves two options: trade Favre or release him. I am entirely unsure whether Brett has a no-trade clause, but if he doesn't, the obvious choice is to trade him. Someone would have to be willing to give up some kind of draft pick for him. He's obviously a legend, and is coming off a career year in which he set personal bests in completion percentage and yards-per-attempt, so he must have some game left. But if he doesn't, who are the teams most willing to bite on the chance to get Brett? Let's look at some potential suitors:
Bears and Vikings: King's two best fits. Both are obviously in need of a QB, and could win one or more Super Bowls with Brett at the helm. He would be the last missing piece to their puzzle. Howeva, Brett Favre going to either of these teams would be a blasphemy worthy of Judas Iscariot, at least to Packers fans. Favre going to play for the Bears (the Bears!) would be like Johnny Damon going to the Yankees times infinity. King says 5000, I say infinity. Not a snowball's chance.
Chiefs: Believe me, I'm tired of hearing this argument. Yeah, yeah, the Chiefs have the pieces to move and are in desperate need of a QB, but Favre wouldn't go there. At least not this year. Brett coming back would be to win a championship, and you don't win a championship with an o-line with leaks worthy of a dam in Holland. Plus, KC, you should have learned your lesson when you signed washed-up 63-year-old Joe Montana in 1992 or whenever, and he came here (there) and sucked for four years. Next!
Jets: this intrigues me. They have proven this year that they are willing to take risks and sign some big names. They have a good team that could fly under the radar this year, without Favre, that is, and they have a good coach. I don't think they really think Kellen Clemens is the answer at QB, and with a fragile old Chad Pennington backing him up, I could definately see this move happening.
Ravens: they have the running game and the defense, and need a leader at QB. Joe Flacco is not ready. I could say that all day. Joe Flacco is not ready. They need a QB. And yet they do not get one. It boggles my mind. I don't see Favre fitting in this offense. He'd turn it over too much and the old-ish defense would get tired.
Panthers: Jake Delhomme had a bad year last year, and it was an odd year! Call in the troops! He's washed up! Brett could fit here. I could see him loving to throw to Steve Smith. However, I don't see him going anywhere in the NFC, for nostalgia reasons.
Bucs: John Gruden could add another QB to his collection. He'd be like a giddy schoolgirl! Favre won't go there.
Falcons: They could redeem the fans for letting him go in 1992, at least. But it would not stop them from sucking. They are far too unproven to be worthy of Brett Favre's consideration. Ptuah! He spits on your team!
Of those teams, the Broncos play the Bucs week 5, the Falcons week 11, the Jets week 13, the Panthers week 15, and the Chiefs weeks 4 and 14. See, I told you I was going somewhere with that.
Feel free to add your thoughts or ridicule me, whichever, and I'll see about putting in a poll if you all want me to.