Friday, July 11, 2008

Favre wants out, but where will he be in?

I'm not sick of Brett Favre news, per se. What I'm sick of is Brett Favre innuendo, rumors, half-truths, "conversations with a source close to Favre," and news of what he does with his cell phone. (OMG WTF TXT MESSAGE LOL!)

But now there's some real, substantial news about #4, and it's seeming almost guaranteed that he'll come back to play in 2008. It's not all that surprising, really. Brett Favre loves Sundays. He'd kill for the joy of going out there every week in front of 70,000 screaming fans. For three hours a week, he's on top of the world, a nigh-invincible gladiator on the gridiron.

Unfortunately, there are 168 other hours in the week, and while I won't go so far as to say Favre's miserable those other 165 hours, they don't come close to the three hours on Sunday. He's like a junkie, getting his quick fix once a week and then having to endure the pale imitation of practice the rest of the week. And then there's the interminable off-season. If you think it's hard for us, the fans, to endure, at least we don't have to sweat it out in mini-camps, two-a-days, and OTAs all spring and summer long, just to get to that brief euphoria of Sunday afternoons.

Toss in the fact that Favre's 38 years old and his general propensity for "winging it" and you can see why he'd want to skip a good portion of that "unnecessary" prep time and just get to the good stuff. If all you had were those three hours every Sunday, Favre would play until he was 68. You think Allen Iverson hates practice? I promise you, Brett Favre hates it more.

So, now that he's coming back, and apparently not to the Packers, where will he go? What team needs a 38-year-old quarterback with a spotty recent track record who'll command a decent salary and won't accept a backup job? On the plus side, he'd be a major attraction and I hear he's fairly durable.

First things first: I think there's absolutely zero chance he goes to an NFC North team. If the Packers can't arrange that as a condition of his release, I still think it's a slim chance. Minnesota, for better or for worse, seems committed to Tarvaris Jackson, and I think adding Favre at this relatively late stage of things would seriously confuse a team that seems poised for a deep playoff run. Chicago has two QBs they're not sure about -- why add a third? And Detroit's got a junior version of Favre in Jon Kitna. Looking around the rest of the league, here are my thoughts on where he could go:

Atlanta. Would be poetic, wouldn't it? Favre goes back to the team that originally drafted him. He'd have to be a better mentor for Matt Ryan than Chris Redman and Joey Harrington. And remember how many butts Michael Vick put in the seats? Favre could immediately return the Falcons to watchability, if not relevance.

Baltimore. Almost the same situation as Atlanta. Young, highly drafted QB (Joe Flacco), questionable incumbent (Kyle Boller), no real expectations. Would there be room in the locker room, though, for both Favre's ego and that of Ray Lewis?

Buffalo. Here's a team that's got two young but only moderately talented quarterbacks (Trent Edwards and JP Losman), a top-flight wide receiver (Lee Evans), a good young running back (Marshawn Lynch), and, after a 7-9 season in 2007, some aspirations for a playoff spot. And I think he could handle the weather.

Houston. Yes, they still owe Matt Schaub too much money. But you have to think Favre would love to be reunited with Ahman Green and take a team that's never been to the playoffs into the promised land.

San Francisco. Just how committed are the 49ers to Alex Smith, Shaun Hill, and J.T. O'Sullivan? If the answer is "not very," then what happens when Brett Favre and Mike Martz join forces? (The answer is that Frank Gore gets about five carries a game.)

Tampa Bay. No real reason here except that Jon Gruden is still the head coach and Brett Favre is a quarterback. Do you need anything else?

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