Brett's back, but ...

Will the Packers be that much better?

Brett Favre will be back with the Green Bay Packers. While many fans might be thrilled to see him extend his Hall of Fame career at least one more season, his decision to return raises a number of questions and concerns from this perch along Oneida Street, just a few blocks from Lambeau Field.

Why would Favre decide to come back now when earlier in the month at a press conference in Mississippi he openly questioned the talent, or lack thereof, on the Packers' offense? General manager Ted Thompson has done little this off-season to reinforce the offensive line and receiver positions. Javon Walker wants out. What has changed in the last two-plus weeks that would convince Favre of returning to a team that is clearly in a rebuilding stage? Nothing that I can see.

How long?
Favre has said this off-season that if he returns to play football, it will only be for one season. Presumably, 2006 will be his last in the NFL.

If that's the case, what good does it do the Packers? Sure, Green Bay will have a chance to be a little better, but Favre's return only retards Aaron Rodgers' development. The Packers might have a shot at making the playoffs, but more likely are headed for an 8-8 season at best.

It would make more sense if Favre committed to at least two more seasons. The Packers then would have a better shot at doing some damage in the playoffs in 2007. Maybe he will commit to two more seasons. Let's hope so because I doubt the Packers or anybody else will want to go through another off-season of Favre's indecision.

Favre has more money than most of us could ever dream of earning. However, $10 million is a lot to pass up, even if you've already made millions. Did Favre return for the money? It had to be a major consideration in his thought process, but not likely a bigger reason than his desire to play. Still, $10 million is $10 million, and he'll start collecting in Week 1.

Favre is on the verge of surpassing Dan Marino for some of the NFL's greatest passing records, including most touchdown passes, wins and completions. Favre will never admit to returning to break records, but like money, it had to be a big factor in his decision-making process. He'll always shrug off any questions regarding records, but he's an ultimate competitor. You know he wants to be remembered as the best, not one of the best, so finishing on top in some major categories among quarterbacks solidifies his position in NFL history.

Will he be more disciplined?
Boy, let's hope so. Favre is coming off his worst season since perhaps is first couple of years in Green Bay. He made some awful decisions and single-handedly cost the Packers a handful of games last year with ill-advised throws. He finished with a league- and career-high 29 interceptions. At times, it appeared that he threw in the towel and heaved prayers out of frustration.

Hopefully, Mike McCarthy can keep the reigns tight on Favre. The veteran simply has to make better decisions and realize that his ability to improvise has diminished. Maybe McCarthy's West Coast offense, which is more of a smash-mouth style, will benefit Favre.

Did Favre return because he suddenly sees hope for the Packers in 2006? Doubt it. He didn't a few weeks ago, so why would he now?

Favre is returning because he wants to play ball, earn some good money, and set some more records - in that order. Is he returning for selfish reasons? Yes, but he's no different than other players and coaches in the league. They all want to make sure they have a spot on whatever team they're part of, then they'll be the team player that fans love to see and cheer on.

I'm probably in the minority on this, but Favre's return may be part of an eventual trade. Trading Favre for draft picks, or another star player, at this point makes much better sense for the long-term than keeping him for one or two years. It's possible that another team wanted to be convinced that Favre is willing to play for at least one or two more seasons before making a deal with Green Bay.

Judging Thompson's brief statement on Favre's return, it doesn't appear that the general manager is exactly thrilled about the news. But he's dealing with a legend, so Thompson is giving Favre as much respect as possible while the reconstruction of the roster continues. When the Packers renovated Lambeau Field a few years ago, they tore down everything, except the field and inner bowl around it. That's kind of what Thompson is doing with the roster around Favre. Let's hope it works, and the aforementioned questions and concerns are put to rest.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of and Packer Report. E-mail him at

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