Where have we seen this before?
Jul 08, 2008, 3:01:05 AM by Jonathan Rand - FAQ
The unfolding Brett Favre soap opera should seem familiar to Chiefs fans. Didn’t we see a similar show at Arrowhead Stadium a year ago, albeit with a less famous quarterback?
A young quarterback, Brodie Croyle, was the presumptive starter a few months before he stumbled in the preseason. Former Pro Bowler Trent Green complained he wasn’t getting a fair chance to keep the job he’d held for six years, and he was given permission to seek a trade.
Yet, even as the Chiefs were trying to move him to the Dolphins, Green reported to Arrowhead for voluntary spring workouts. He was trying to turn up the pressure on the Chiefs, whose negotiations were stalemated. It took another month for them to close the deal.
What should have been a routine spat between the Chiefs and Green turned into major nationwide sports news. Public demand for NFL news in the offseason far exceeds the supply.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to envision the circus that would surround Favre and the Packers if developments continue the direction they seemed headed. First, he retired, setting his five-year clock for Hall of Fame induction. Early rumors of his return seemed unfounded.
More recently, however, Favre’s relatives gave legs to talk of Favre’s return. His brother, Scott, claimed a comeback was a 50-50 possibility. His mother, Bonita, claimed that Packers general manager Ted Thompson lacked enthusiasm for bringing Favre back, and that Favre no longer felt welcome with the team. Favre, meanwhile, hasn’t said much.
The Packers prepared carefully for life after Favre, who had a bang-up season in 2007 before ending it with an interception that allowed the Giants to continue their championship run. The Packers named Aaron Rodgers to start and drafted quarterbacks Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn.
Should Favre notify the NFL office that he wishes to return, the Packers would have to activate or release him. If they’d want him back, there’d be no problem. But if they don’t want his back, they’d face a touchy situation, to say the least.
They Packers obviously wouldn’t release him because of his trade value and because they don’t want him calling signals for a division rival, or any other NFC team for that matter.
If Favre wants to play but he’s not wanted in Green Bay, the Packers could well face the predicament the Chiefs faced last spring. If they don’t trade him before training camp begins July 27, they could not prevent him from taking snaps along with Rodgers and the rookies. That circus would make the Chiefs’ episode with Green seem like a backyard juggling act.
Cable channels would be showing us Favre 24/7 and everybody in camp, right down to the ball boys, would get the chance to tell America whether they think Favre should be the team’s starter.
The Packers obviously would not relish the spectacle of their foremost franchise icon since the Lombardi era griping about being held hostage.
Because Favre’s coming off a strong season – 4,155 yards and 28 touchdown passes – it’s tempting to assume he’s still in his prime. But he’ll turn 39 in October and had back-to-back mediocre seasons before 2007.
The Chiefs have more experience than most teams with successful quarterbacks who needed a change in scenery near the end of their careers. The club’s evaluations have proved accurate.
Green took over as the Dolphins’ starter only to suffer a concussion for the second straight season. He’s now moved on to the Rams as Marc Bulger’s backup.
In 1993, the Chiefs traded for Joe Montana, arguably the best quarterback of all time, but who was coming off injury problems that led to his replacement in San Francisco by Steve Young. Though Montana in his two years with the Chiefs was no longer the great player he’d once been, he led them to the AFC championship game in 1993. They haven’t advanced that far since.
Montana’s departure from San Francisco and the fans’ enduring loyalty to him made Young’s life difficult, and filled with boos, until he threw six touchdown passes in a Super Bowl victory over the Chargers in the January, 1995 Super Bowl. So you can imagine the pressure that would hound Rodgers in Green Bay if Favre winds up in another uniform.
If Favre wants to come back to the Packers and they’re willing to tear up their succession plan for now, perhaps both can live happily ever after. Otherwise, ill will could pollute the skies of Green Bay.
Once egos, money and public opinion get involved, there’s no civil way to resolve these things.
If only? I would try to get him, for a season or two. He could help develop our young QB's and wins some games for us! Just my thoughts anyway.
Post away what if Brett became a Chief?