Even the most ardent Brett Favre defenders now sigh when his name is mentioned. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, long considered Favre’s primary source of unrelenting hagiography, has admitted he’s sick of the player. But, like a zombie that won’t die until you destroy the brain, Favre keeps lurching onward, talking this week with Minnesota coach Brad Childress about joining the Vikings next season. The Jets are the team that made this happen. And it couldn’t have worked out better for them.
Favre, seemingly unequivocally, announced his retirement early this year, and on the whole, people believed him. But he never got around to turning in his retirement papers. When the Jets, having drafted Mark Sanchez to be the new face of their franchise, released Favre after the draft, it was considered by most to be an afterthought, a formality. But Favre saw it as an opportunity, letting the Vikings know he’d love to play for them, mostly to “strike back” at the Packers for trading him a year ago. And the Vikings are seriously considering indulging Favre’s revenge fantasies.
Considering the Jets held the rights to Favre, one might wonder why they didn’t try to get something back for him via trade. But even if they knew he was going to try to play again — and the Post reports that they stipulated Favre not sign with a team in their division, so they must have suspected something — the Jets were wise not to let Favre hold their franchise hostage for another offseason. Holding on to him for the best package would have meant holding on to the past, on to Favre’s last run (which actually ended terribly). The Jets surely appreciated the extra revenue Favre brought in last year, but that was a onetime shot. They’re ready to move on. Cutting Favre made that process complete and immediate.
If Favre does end up joining the Vikings, it’s likely to be terrible. He was fading at the end of last year, thanks largely to a torn biceps tendon that he never did get fixed. He also admits he hasn’t been working out much this offseason. But he really, really wants to get back at the Packers — who, like the Jets and everyone else, have moved on.