Since news came out last Friday that Brett Favre wants to be released from the Packers, we have had this story shoved down our throats. It is a big deal, but it seems like every time I turn on ESPN they're talking about Brett Favre. Quite frankly, it's getting pretty annoying. Then again, to be fair to Favre, ESPN usually over-covers any significant news event, especially in the dog days of the summer.
Anyways, this saga involving Favre has taken a few interesting turns lately, but it keeps getting better and better. Rather than have a relative speak on his behalf or have his agent write down his thoughts in a letter, Brett Favre has finally spoken publicly on his issues with the Green Bay Packers. He went on Fox News yesterday and was interviewed by Wisconsin-native and Packers shareholder Greta Van Susteren.
"I am guilty of retiring early and there is a reason for that," Favre said, according to an excerpt provided to The Associated Press before the Monday night broadcast. "And the major issue is 'Why did he retire?,' and 'He asked for a release because he doesn't want to play in Green Bay.' That's not true. And I hope people are hearing this and saying 'OK, that clears it up."'
Favre told Fox he understands that the Packers want to move on — but if they're doing so, they should let him go.
"Them moving on does not bother me," Favre said. "It doesn't. I totally understand that. By me retiring March 3rd, I knew that could possibly happen. All I was saying is, you know, I'm thinking about playing again."
Via a different AP article, Favre also said this:
"OK, you guys have a different path, fine," Favre said, recalling a June 20 conversation with Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "What does that mean for me? So that means either you give me my helmet, welcome back, or release me, or attempt to trade me. We all know that's a possibility, but way-out-there possibility.
"And he says, 'Well, playing here is not an option, but we can't envision you playing with another team, you know, either.' And I thought, so basically, I'm not playing for anyone if I choose to come back."
So basically Favre rushed his decision to retire and realized that soon after. Now, after having some discussions with the Packers about possibly coming back to play in 2008, he doesn't feel welcomed by the only team he has played for in his career. You can understand why he's upset, but the Packers are trying to move on. They seem to be content with Aaron Rodgers being the starting QB, despite the fact that Favre wants back in.
To me, I have no issues with Brett Favre wanting to play football again. He made a mistake in retiring before he should have, and now he wants to play in the NFL again. Fine. And I almost have no problem with his notion of wanting to play for another team since the Packers don't really seem to want him that much anyways. What I do have a problem with, though, is the fact that Favre is trying to make himself look like the victim because the Packers are playing hardball.
Even though I am a Lions fan and hated Brett Favre because he played for the Packers, I did respect him. After all, the things he did on a football field are amazing, and he deserves respect for that. However, my respect for him is quickly deteriorating every single time he or someone close to him talks about the situation at hand. Again, I don't fault the guy for hanging it up too early, but Favre needs to realize that he made that mistake.
I do think Favre gets that he shouldn't have retired, but I'm not exactly sure if he understands what his retirement did. Rather than sit around until training camp waiting for that itch to show up, the Packers moved on. They fully committed themselves to Aaron Rodgers, which is really something that had to happen. Rodgers cannot continually look over his shoulder and wonder how long he has until Favre shows up as that's not fair to him. He waited for his time, and when Favre cried his eyes out at that press conference back in March, Rodgers' time arrived.
With the Packers having moved on, you can imagine why things became so complicated when Favre decided he was ready to come back. Had it been back in March, things would have been fine. #4 would have gone back to his untouched locker and everyone would have gone about their business like nothing had happened. Favre had that chance and nearly did come back then, but he waffled and made the decision to stay retired. He had his chance, but since he stayed retired, his window for a return closed.
Now that Favre's itch is so strong and he is dead set on returning to the NFL, there is a problem for him and for the Packers. Green Bay moved on and although they would love to have Favre back, it's simply too late. Aaron Rodgers is now their quarterback. For Favre, he hasn't moved on from football, but he is done with the Packers mentally. Since Green Bay isn't welcoming him back with open arms and the promise that he will be the starting QB, Favre likely was offended, resulting in his desire to play for a new team.
Although it may seem wrong to some that the Packers aren't being so welcoming to a player that did so much for their franchise, that's just the way it is. Favre's window of opportunity to make a return to the Packers closed long ago, and now he's dealing with the consequences by asking for a release from GB. Oh, if only it were that simple.
Green Bay simply isn't just going to abide by what Brett wants and release him. That would be a Millen-esque move based on the stupidity behind it. There is too great of a chance that Favre would end up in Minnesota or a team that plays the Packers, leaving GB with only the choice of holding their ground and not doing anything for the time being. The risk is there that releasing Favre could screw the Packers over directly, so that's not an option.
The Packers have fired back that a trade could be possible considering Favre would likely get GB a nice package of players and/or draft picks in return, but once again Brett doesn't agree. Favre doesn't like that idea as it means he could end up playing for a crappy team that is years away from contending for the Super Bowl when he needs to win now. At the same time, his list of possible destinations is greatly cut down as the Packers would only trade him to an AFC team to lower the risk that he would come back to haunt Green Bay in the playoffs or the regular season.
As you can tell, this is a very complicated matter. Green Bay doesn't necessarily want to let Favre go for obvious reasons, and Favre wants the complete opposite so he can be the starting QB and be welcomed by his team. What will end up happening is beyond me, but I will predict that Brett Favre's legacy will be tarnished somewhat by this whole saga. Of course, everyone will remember him for the records and all of his other achievements, but I can't help but think that un-retiring and pouting his way to a new team will do any good for his image.