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Ever since the Jets cut Brett Favre loose last week, rumors have been swirling that the future HOF QB might be contemplating another comeback.
Of course, his initial reaction to those rumors was that this time he was finished, that his desire to play football was no longer there.
And can you really blame him based on how the 2008 season ended?
After leading the Jets to an AFC East best 8-3 mark, and being prematurely hyped for the Super Bowl by the New York and National Media, they lost four of their final five games to miss out on the playoffs.
And he was beat up in the process.
So he told GM Mike Tannenbaum following their season ending defeat to the Dolphins that it was over.
And in turn, the Jets traded up for the right to draft QB Mark Sanchez out of USC and released Favre from their roster, thus avoiding a salary cap hit in 2009.
A day after this took place, and you can decide for yourself whether it was mere coincidence or not, Vikings’ brass was on a plane down to Mississippi to meet with No. 4.
The Favre camp once again reiterated that it was nothing more than a conversation.
But was it? Is a potential comeback in the works? I wouldn’t bet against it.
One thing we can be certain of is the fact that Favre was not happy with the treatment he received from the Packers’ organization and GM Ted Thompson after his initial comeback attempt.
But Thompson can’t be blamed for how he handled the situation. His first responsibility is to the organization, not the aging QB trying to hold the franchise hostage.
So after Favre announced his retirement following the 2007-08 season - and said it was final, Thompson decided to move on and make Aaron Rodgers, who had been waiting in the wings for three seasons, the starting QB.
And once he made that commitment, he wasn’t going back on his word.
Otherwise Rodgers, a former first round pick, would’ve bolted Green Bay at first opportunity after being relegated to the bench in his first four years in the NFL.
So when Favre decided to make his first comeback, he was informed he’d be welcomed back…but as a backup.
Favre countered by asking for an outright release. Apparently, after being treated as royalty over his 15-year tenure in Green Bay, he thought he’d parlay that “royalty” into a no strings attached release allowing him to sign with whomever he chose.
But Thompson wasn’t going to let Favre, who clearly had something left in the tank, walk for free and end up in…I don’t know, Chicago or Minnesota.
He did agree however to move the aging QB.
And he even asked for a list of his top choices—outside of the division of course.
Tampa Bay was No. 1, while the Jets didn’t make his fave five.
30 minutes later he was a member of the New York Jets. And as a part of the trade, the Packers smartly inserted the “poison pill” into the deal; if the Jets decided to ship him to the Vikings, they’d have been obligated to send three 1st round picks to Green Bay.
But now the circumstances have changed.
Should he choose, he’s free to sign with the Vikings.
Why would he even want to at this point? Because reports are now coming out that he loathes Green Bay, and because he probably would like nothing more than to stick it to his former franchise, and in particular, GM Ted Thompson, at a minimum twice in 2009.
And the move would make a lot of sense.
Minnesota’s only a QB away from raising its ceiling to more than a Wild Card Playoff game.
They’ve already got an excellent supporting cast assembled: the great Adrian Peterson, a big, solid, offensive line, a highly touted first round pick in Percy Harvin to go with burner WR Bernard Berrian, and an aggressive, play making defense.
And there’s no doubt that Favre has already wrapped his mind around all of this.
So while he continues to say - and will continue into the summer - that this time his retirement’s for real, it’s no different than when former CEO Dick Fuld promised that Lehman Brothers was not another Bear Stearns in the wake of the company’s implosion last March.
The writing is on the wall.
See you in Minnesota, Brett.