A real conundrum

Packers in a delicate situation with Favre

What to do? The Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre probably both know what is best for the future of the organization, but it seems, at this point early in the off-season, that neither one is willing to make a commitment, one way or the other. Saying good-bye to loved ones can take some time.

Will Favre retire from football, or continue on with his Hall of Fame career? Do the Packers want Favre back with a team that has a rookie coach, two rookie coordinators, and top draft pick itching to play? Does Favre want to play in Green Bay next season under the current circumstances? These questions and more will eventually be answered.

The feeling here, as stated in previous columns, is that Favre will continue on with his career, but not in Green Bay. With each day that passes this month, it seems more certain that he wants to play more football, or he would have announced his intentions to quit in the last three-plus weeks since the regular season finale. Favre is still physically capable of playing at a high level in the National Football League. Mentally, he appears determined to lead a team to victories and the playoffs. He had a frustrating season last year, but often showed that he was having fun on the field. It's tough to imagine him hanging it up, especially after a 4-12 season.

If Mike Sherman was still the head coach, and Jim Bates the defensive coordinator, there would be no question right now that Favre would return to the Packers for the 2006 season. As we all know, the situation in Green Bay has changed significantly since Jan. 1.

Looking at Favre's situation from the Packers' standpoint muddles the picture. If Green Bay truly wants him back, Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson would have made a point to see the QB within the past two weeks at his home in Mississippi. But they haven't. Thompson has been in touch with Favre, but what have they discussed? Perhaps, that the Packers would like to move on with Rodgers at the helm? Seems like it.

Hopefully, the Packers will soon know which way Favre is going next year. Like Harry Sydney explained in his column today, the time to make that decision is now.

It appears, however, that the Packers want to move on without Favre, but are not sure how to tell him. Who knows? Favre and the Packers may be working out a plan to either return or move on as you read this, but it seems likely that the 36-year-old quarterback won't be playing in Green Bay next season.

While it's difficult to imagine Favre playing with another team, be prepared for that to happen. If Favre is suiting up with the New Orleans Saints, or another NFL team that needs a QB to put them over the top next season, guess what? Life will go on. The sun will rise east of Lambeau Field, and all of the memories that Favre left with Packers fans from 1992 through last season will remain. Favre will always be treated like a king in Green Bay. Plus, the Packers may get a few draft picks, or an up-and-coming player in return. The NFL can be an ice-cold business, and Favre has said often that he is well aware of it and could be out the door in Green Bay as quickly as the next guy.

How will the Packers break the news to their fans? Or will Favre retire to take Green Bay off the hook? If he does retire, look for him to return after a season after the dust has settled in Green Bay, like Reggie White returned to play for Carolina after one of his retirements.

The Packers have a young team and are in a conundrum with Favre. It's a sticky situation. The team's plan soon will be revealed.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.

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