Brett Favre will be reinstated by the NFL today at 1:00 p.m. ET. That means he will officially be back on the Packers' active roster, which will be sure to cause more drama than you want to hear about.
This saga that has gone on and on and been over-covered by the media will not end with Favre's reinstatement. It could end abruptly if Favre was traded or a resolution with the Packers loomed, but in reality, this is just the beginning. Why? Well, because Favre reportedly is going to have to earn back the starting job.
It's not yet clear what role Favre will play once he reports to Packers camp Monday, but sources told ESPN's Wendi Nix that coach Mike McCarthy will announce Monday he's holding an open competition between Favre and Aaron Rodgers for the starting quarterback position.
Rodgers said Sunday night he's ready for a potential competition with Favre after serving as his backup for three seasons.
"I'm a competitor. I'm going to compete," Rodgers said after a scrimmage Sunday night. "This isn't going to be easy. It's going to be a dogfight. And I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people give me a chance, but I believe in myself and I'm going to be the best I can be and let coach decide from there."
I really do feel sorry for Aaron Rodgers as he is in a lose-lose situation when you think about it. If he loses the starting job, well, then he's stuck on the bench for yet another season. On the other hand, if he surprises people and becomes the Packers' starter by beating out Brett Favre, then anything short of winning the Super Bowl will get him criticized. He could have an unbelievable season, but if the Packers don't go all the way, I guarantee you there will be fans saying something along the lines of, "Well, Brett could have won it all."
Favre's decision to return to Green Bay comes after he was offered a reported $20 million marketing deal. Should Favre accept that deal, he basically would be paid to stay retired. It is very unlikely Favre will accept that deal now that he is back in Green Bay, especially since doing so would prevent him from playing for the next decade, but apparently the offer is still on the table.
Even though Favre showed up for Green Bay's "family night" at Lambeau Field, it does not mean he is for sure going to play for the Packers. I'd be shocked if anything actually comes of this, but there is a report suggesting the Packers have initiated talks with the Vikings about trading Favre.
A trade remains a possibility. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on its Web site late Sunday night that the Packers have had preliminary contact with the Vikings on a potential trade for Favre.
Again, a trade to the Vikings is highly unlikely, but that doesn't mean another team won't come calling. Even so, nothing will happen fast enough to prevent Favre from starting practice on Tuesday with the Packers, so one might say that s**t is about to hit the fan.
What does all of this mean to Lions fans? Well, not a whole lot except that turning on ESPN will result in Favre overload in only minutes. They love to beat stories to death, and this Favre saga has been no different - and that was before he even arrived in Green Bay. Now that he is back with the Packers, expect this story to be all that ESPN talks about for at least the next few days, but probably more along the lines of the next few weeks.
Don't forget, Monday Night Football is in Green Bay a week from today for the Packers vs. Bengals game. On top of that, MNF's regular season opener will be in Green Bay for a game between the Packers and Vikings. They already over-promote MNF to begin with, but in this case, it will literally make ESPN unwatchable. And just imagine if something happens that results in Favre going to Minnesota. It's hard to think about how much hype would surround a game where he would be playing against Green Bay to start the season at Lambeau. My head is about ready to explode just thinking about it.
And speaking of promoting and marketing, to make this saga even more comical, to me at least, the Packers have hired former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer as a consultant for one month. Fleischer is being hired specifically to spin the Brett Favre situation to make the Packers look favorable to the public. That will be no easy task as in hindsight they really did mishandle this whole situation, but then again, Favre didn't do them any favors, either.