Does Favre still want to play for the Vikings?

Dennis Dillon of Sporting News.com is pondering that very question:

Brett FavrePardon me for being skeptical, but I can’t help wondering if there’s a hidden agenda here. Is Favre, 39, really hanging it up this time? Or is he clearing a path for a return with another team — like, for instance, the Vikings?

In a sense, Favre has had a symmetrical football career. He played 16 years in Green Bay, sandwiched between a beginning bookend year in Atlanta and a finishing bookend year in New York.
What does he have left to accomplish?

He is a three-time NFL most valuable player. He went to two Super Bowls and won one. He owns numerous NFL passing records, and he certainly will be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

But somehow, I can’t help but think we haven’t seen the last of Brett Favre. I get the feeling he’s not ready to close the book on his football career. Don’t be surprised if he comes back for a 19th season.
After all, there’s no limit on the number of times he can retire.

I truly believe Favre just likes new challenges at this point in his career. He was done with the Green Bay thing, so he tried the Big Apple. That wasn’t entirely to his liking and for some strange reason there seems to be a notion that he has a desire to play in Minnesota. Maybe he has some strange hard on for walking into Lambeau Field as a member of another team just to see how Packer fans would react. Or maybe he wants to see a fan base like Minnesota cheer him after years of despising him.

Whatever his reason, I’m with Dillion – something tells me Favre isn’t done.

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Brett Favre tells Jets he’s retiring

According to ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen, Brett Favre has instructed his agent Bus Cook to notify the Jets that he is retiring.

In an e-mail to ESPN’s Ed Werder, Favre indicated he had no regrets about finishing his career with the Jets rather than with the Green Bay Packers franchise he represented for his previous 16 NFL seasons. He specifically praised Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum, team owner Woody Johnson and fired coach Eric Mangini — and even mentioned Thomas Jones and Kerry Rhodes, both of whom were publicly critical of Favre after the team’s collapse in the final month of the season prevented the Jets from making the playoffs.

While Favre did not directly broach the subject of the team simply releasing him so that he might have the option of signing with another team such as the Minnesota Vikings, a source said that Cook informally discussed the option with the Jets. The Jets respectfully declined that option, the source said.

The retirement decision should not have surprised the Jets even though the team had publicly encouraged Favre to play another season. Favre informed Tannenbaum before the Super Bowl that he was leaning toward retirement. At some point within the past week, Favre told Cook to inform the Jets that he wanted to retire without fanfare and that the team could make the decision public at its convenience.

I hate to sound like a pessimist, but we’ve all been down this road before. In fact, we went down this road last year only to have Favre pull an about face and say he wanted to play again. Maybe he does want to officially hang it up with the amount of pain he had to play with at the end of the season last year. Or maybe this is his way of sneaking out the backdoor only to return again in a couple of months.

Nobody knows what’s going through his mind right now. If he is done, hey, it’s been one of the best rides for Packer and football fans alike and Brett was one of the best. He gave a lot of people a lot of great memories, but let’s hold off for the next couple months and see how this situation plays out before assuming he is officially retiring.

Jets hope Brett makes up his mind in next 10 days

The Jets hope to hear Brett Favre’s decision on whether or not he’s returning to the team next year by the NFL scouting combine.

Brett FavreThe Jets are in the same position the Packers were in the last several years and it’s not comfortable. They are waiting for Favre to tell them what he’s doing.

When the Jets made the trade in August, they got the entire Favre package: The leadership, the excitement, the improvisation and the interceptions. But they also acquired the aggravation of their life being put on hold as Favre takes his time deciding whether he’s going to play in 2009. The Jets need to be pro-active rather than playing nice and feeding into Favre’s diva act.

But the Jets need an answer. Freeing up Favre’s $13 million cap number would give them free-agent flexibility. Even if he plays, they still have some room to maneuver. The greater issue would be who plays quarterback? If Favre is done, the Jets can’t go into camp with Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff and pray one of them turns into Matt Cassel.

At least when Favre was doing this to the Packers the last few years they knew Aaron Rodgers was next in line. The Jets don’t have quality options. That’s why the Jets are being patient. They might feel they need him more than he needs them.

Hindsight is always 20/20, but you can’t help but get the feeling that the Jets made the wrong decision to acquire Favre last year. He made them competitive, but they still missed the playoffs and now they’re at the mercy of his pending decision. Worse yet, if he doesn’t return, they either have to hope Clemens or Ratliff emerges next year or take a shot at selecting a quarterback in a week draft class.

Maybe it would have been better if the Jets allowed Clemens to get another year under his belt instead of taking a shot on Favre.

Jet player: Favre created resentment in the locker room

According to an unnamed Jets player, quarterback Brett Favre created resentment in the locker room this season by being distant and unwilling to socialize.

Brett Favre“There was a lot of resentment in the room about him,” a Jets player told Newsday yesterday. He requested anonymity because team owner Woody Johnson has stated publicly that Favre is welcome to return next season if he wants to. (Favre reportedly will take until the end of February to decide about returning.)

The 39-year-old quarterback is not as welcome with his teammates, according to this veteran. After the Jets traded for Favre Aug. 6, the sure Hall of Famer made no effort to ingratiate himself with the already assembled team, the veteran said. He said Favre spent most of his down time at the practice facility in an office specially designated for him near the equipment room, not with teammates in the locker room, even after the media departed.

“He never socialized with us, never went to dinner with anyone,” the player said. Asked to describe Favre in a word, he said: “Distant.”

There was more of the same sentiment from Thomas Jones, who was interviewed on Hot 97 FM Tuesday. Jones wanted to make it clear he wasn’t blaming only Favre but said, “At the same time, you can’t turn the ball over and expect to win. The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. You don’t like it. I don’t like it and I know everybody else on the team doesn’t like it, but all you can do is fight [through it].”

Jones reinforced comments made by other Jets Monday, when the team broke up for the season in complete disarray after Sunday’s 24-17 loss to the Dolphins.

On Monday, Kerry Rhodes said: “If he’s dedicated and he wants to come back and do this, and do it the right way … and be here when we’re here in training camp and the minicamps and working out with us … then I’m fine with it. But don’t come back if it’s going to be halfhearted or he doesn’t want to put the time in with us.”

If you read between the lines, you get the feeling that while Favre did want to play this final year, his mind wasn’t entirely into it. Not that he didn’t work hard or loafed, but I think Brett got to the Big Apple and then said, “What the f**k am I doing?” He probably didn’t allow himself to get close to anyone in the locker room because he just wanted to play football and go home.

Obviously this is all just speculation on my part, but these recent comments by Jet players paint the picture that not all was right in the locker room this season and Brett was at the hub of the issue. Either way, I think the Favre is done in New York. The experiment failed and now it’s time to go in another direction with a new coach.

Does Favre make Jets a playoff contender?

Brett Favre is in. Chad Pennington is out. And now the Jets are instant playoff contenders, right?

Well, maybe.

The Jets may have lost 12 games last year, but they lost nine of those 12 games by less than 10 points (signifying they were at least competitive). A couple of key factors played into the Jets’ struggles last year, including being limited at the quarterback position, an offensive line that underachieved, and the inability to stop the run on defense. After acquiring him via trade with the Bears in the offseason, NY expected more out of running back Thomas Jones (1 rushing TD), too.

So what did the Jets do this offseason? Well besides acquiring Favre, they also landed prized free agent guard Alan Faneca (Steelers), big-bodied DT Kris Jenkins (Panthers), versatile linebacker Calvin Pace (Cardinals), and drafted athletic outside linebacker Vernon Gholston. In other words, they made a huge effort to plug the leaking holes on their roster.

Getting back to Favre, one would assume that he only makes the Jets’ offense more productive. He has a stronger arm than anyone on NY’s roster, takes risks (which sometimes translate into big rewards…and sometimes not) and he’s a veteran leader that guys like Jones, Laveranues Coles and a slew of young but talented offensive linemen can look up to. The Jets have been hamstrung by limited quarterback play for years. Favre is anything but limited.

But is his head in it? And is he ready to play? One of the reasons Favre was so productive last year was because he worked his ass off in the offseason to get into the best shape of his life. With all the hoopla that has occurred over the past few weeks/months, has he stayed in relatively good football shape? The guy is a grizzled veteran, so one would assume he’s taken care of his body. But only time will tell if the 38-year old signal caller is ready to take the Jets back to the playoffs in ’08.

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