Thursday, August 7, 2008

Final thoughts on Favre

At last, our long national nightmare is over. Though some will still lament Brett Favre trading the green-and-gold for the green-and-white, and, even if he throws 30 interceptions this year, will still believe the Packers would have been better off with him than with Aaron Rodgers, this is really a deal that benefits all three teams -- yes, three -- involved.

First of all, the Packers can close the door, fully and completely (until there's talk of the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor and the like, a few years down the road) on the short-lived Favre/Rodgers QB controversy. As I alluded to in my last post, had the Packers taken Favre back and given him the starting job, that would have guaranteed that Rodgers left as a free agent following the 2008 season. That would have left the Packers with a QB who's not committed to playing past next year (Favre) and two second-year men (Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn), neither of whom were likely to see any action in 2008. If Favre did leave -- for good -- that would have likely put Brohm in the starter's seat. Instead, they now have a much better (though not 100%, one would think) chance of retaining Rodgers. And, say what you will about the Rodgers/Favre comparison, and I do think Brohm will be a pretty good QB, but given the choice between four-year veteran Rodgers (with some playing time) and one-year veteran Brohm (with no playing time), I'd pick Rodgers.

For the New York Jets, Favre represents a serious upgrade over Chad Pennington (who, reports say, will be released shortly) and Kellen Clemens, neither of whom have any real long-term value, unlike Rodgers and Brohm (and perhaps Flynn). Clemens won't represent any real threat to Favre's starting job, and, if Favre just gets the team to the playoffs, it will only cost them a second-round draft pick. And I think you might see a slight uptick in NY Jets merchandise sales over the next few weeks...

Finally, there's the third team "involved" in the Favre negotiations, and that's the Minnesota Vikings. It's no surprise that I'm not the biggest Tarvaris Jackson fan around, but I'll admit the kid's got at least some potential. Acquiring Favre would have ruined that potential, sending a clear message to Jackson that the team doesn't believe in his ability to lead the team -- which, considering how tenderly he's been handled by the coaching staff and how often they've gone out of their way to prop him up, shouldn't take much. In exchange, the Vikings would have gotten a quarterback who might play for one more year, maybe -- and I do mean maybe -- two, whose "me-first" attitude would not be what was needed on a team that prides itself on its running game and defense.

And here's the kicker -- Favre may not be that good in 2008. I know, I know, he's Brett #&^$ Favre, and I'm just being a sore Vikings fan by suggesting. But think about it: two years ago, after throwing 29 interceptions, Favre was "washed up." Last year, after throwing 18 TDs to 18 interceptions, Favre was "mediocre." Now, after his fine 2007, he's [pick your favorite: reborn, revitalized, back on the right track, ready to lead a team to the Super Bowl]. Basically, you're looking at a guy who's had one good season out of his last three and turns 39 in October. Would I want to sacrifice the future of my team's QB position for that? The Jets had no future at the position, so it makes sense for them to take a shot at it. The Vikings and the Packers are a different story.

My prediction for Favre in the Meadowlands: something in the vicinity of 3,500 yards, 24 TDs and 18 interceptions. Pretty good, and far better than Chad Pennington or Kellen Clemens could have hoped for -- and, for that matter, better probably than Tarvaris Jackson will do in 2008 -- but I wouldn't bet that he'll throw for more touchdowns in 2009 than I will.

Now, can we please talk about something else? ESPN, I'm looking at you.

(PS: Don't you love the "poison pill" the Packers put in the trade? If the Jets trade Favre to the Vikings, the Jets give the Packers three first-round draft picks. It's similar to the provisions made by the Vikings for the players they dealt to the Cowboys in the Herschel Walker trade, a stipulation Dallas dodged by arranging a three-team deal with the Patriots that shipped one of the players from Dallas to New England and then to Green Bay. If Favre still demonstrates that he's a valid QB in 2008, and for some reason the Jets don't want him, and Jackson falls flat on his face...well, don't rule out seeing Favre in purple just yet...)

1 comment:

DC said...

Jason:

If Jackson were to fall to pieces because the Vikings brought in a Hall of Fame quarterback to replace him for a year or two, he's probably in the wrong profession.