The Packers have dispatched president Mike Murphy to the swamp to talk to Brett Favre. The conventional wisdom is that Murphy is there to convince Brett to stay away from Packers training camp, the team fearing his presence at camp would cause too much of a distraction. Speaking of distractions…the Vikings continue to be at the center of all Favre speculation. It’s generally believed that if Favre is cut he would be in Purple faster than Jared Allen going around Bryant McKinnie. Up till now, it’s been assumed that the Packers would do everything in their power to prevent Favre from ending up on the Vikes, and therefore he would not be cut. But the perceived desperation of Green Bay’s situation – the fact that Favre is lukewarm on going to either the Jets or Bucs, and might actually consider showing up at camp just to stir things up more – has caused some observers to re-calculate the likelihood of Favre winding up in Minnesota. Here was Judd Zulgad’s take this morning:
"Favre has applied for reinstatement — that application is going to be approved by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell — and [Packers GM Ted] Thompson now has little leverage in this situation. No team outside of the NFC North is going to offer much in terms of compensation for Favre and even then he must approve of the destination to which he is dealt.Perhaps the Packers will allow Favre to report and sit on the bench — and allow their season to become a complete circus sideshow with Favre as the main attraction on the Midway. Or maybe Murphy, Goodell or both convince Thompson that enough is enough. Favre is 38 years old and the reality is he isn’t going to play that much longer. Heck, who am I kidding, he probably will try to play another 12 years but he isn’t going to play at a high level for many more years.So why not give Favre his release or send him to the Vikings in a trade? There is little doubt the Vikings would offer up an attractive draft pick in order to land Favre and make those much-talked about tampering charges go away. The Vikings didn’t go out and get Jared Allen, Bernard Berrian and Madieu Williams because they feel they are three years away from winning.They did it because they saw an opportunity to win right now. The only question mark is quarterback and Favre’s presence would help to solve that. Goodell’s involvement in the Favre situation also is an indication that he knows this is an embarrassing situation for the league and wants it to end."
We’re hearing this argument more-and-more (Wilbunk said it last night on PTI): If the Packers want Favre to go away so bad, then why not just cut him? Is it a foregone conclusion that, if he went to the Vikes, he would lead them to a Super Bowl victory (thus embarrassing the Packers organization to the point where Thompson et al would have no choice but to commit ritual suicide)? No. It’s also possible that Favre would go to the Vikes and, having nothing left in the tank, stink the place up. There’s a whole line of reasoning that says the Pack should let Favre go, let him sign with the Vikes, and let the ensuing media circus and crappy performance completely sabotage their season. Of course, the Packers probably don’t think they can take this chance. They think Brett might have something left after all. They believe in the magic powers of Favre. They’re completely in sway to him. Which is why I still think he will wind up starting for the Packers this year, Aaron Rodgers be damned.
How would I resolve it? Simple. If I were the Packers, I’d promise to give Favre his starting job back if he promised not to make a retirement fuss at the end of the season. Let him play, but make him guarantee that, if he still wants to play beyond ’08, he has to say so immediately at the end of the season. No time to think it over or discuss it with his family (eye-roll)…just a yes or no. No more holding the organization hostage. No more farking up the team’s long-term plans. If he’s unwilling to accept these terms, then clearly, he doesn’t want to be a Packer anymore. In which case the team should just cut him and let him be someone else’s (the Vikings’) headache.