It looks like this really is the end of the road for Brett Favre. On Monday Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez reported that Favre has officially filed his retirement papers with the NFL, apparently ending his 20-year Hall-of-Fame career.
I say “apparently” because, as we recall, Favre filed the papers in 2009 after “retiring” from the Jets and was still able to change his mind and join the Vikings a few months later.
As we learned after the 2009 Favre-flop, the retirement filing is really just a bureaucratic formality, one every player must go through to be eligible for a pension and other post-playing benefits, and is not an ironclad promise of retirement. So the door is still open for Favre to change his mind if he wishes.
I’m guessing Favre didn’t feel any great urgency about getting some of that pension money he doesn’t need, so that leaves us with the question of why he decided to move so quickly on filing the paperwork. My hunch is that Favre did it to send a message, mostly to ESPN and other media outlet, that he really is done this time and there’s no reason for them to post a reporter on his lawn come July.
And will this move stop ESPN from posting a reporter on Favre’s front lawn come July? Probably not.
The cynic will also point out the interesting coincidence of this announcement being made the Monday after both the Packers and Jets put themselves into their respective conference title games. Far be it from me to accuse Favre of trying to steal a little spotlight from his ex-teams, but…well, this is Brett Favre. He does like the spotlight. And he does not like the Packers and Jets.
All timing-related ulterior motives and message-sending intentions aside, I think this time the retirement really will stick. Favre took a beating in 2010 the likes of which he never took in his entire career, ending the year with a scary concussion. Favre knows it’s time to segue into a new phase of his life, a phase that doesn’t involve getting destroyed by huge defensive linemen and blitzing linebackers week-after-week.
So I think we can all rest assured that this time there will be no actual unretirement drama come summer. Of course the media will still try to whip up an unretirement drama, because that’s what they do. Hopefully Favre will quickly be able to defuse any such nonsense, if necessary by chasing Ed Werder away with a shotgun.