"Favre traded to Buccaneers."
"Favre traded to Redskins."
Unlike quarterback Brett Favre, who says he's 99.9 percent sure he'll never play anywhere else, I'm 100 percent sure Favre will never put on another uniform. He will retire a Green Bay Packer.
Prior to the season, and now two weeks deep, trades involving the future Hall of Famer have been gaining steam with each Packers loss. All this talk, is just that, talk.
The Packers aren't trading the best player to wear a Packers uniform since Don Hutson. They're not trading one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. It just isn't going to happen.
Some will point out in the modern era Joe Montana was traded by the 49ers. Sure he was, but another Hall of Fame quarterback was waiting in the wings for Montana to retire (that'd be Steve Young). San Francisco had a football reason to trade Montana. Any Hall of Famer behind Favre?
As for the Packers, if they desire to get backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers experience, he can get it during the second half of this season when the Packers likely will be positioning themselves for a top 10 pick in the 2007 draft. Rodgers can relieve Favre for the last month or so and get the experience.
John Elway wasn't traded.
Dan Marino wasn't traded.
Troy Aikman wasn't traded.
All were in the decline at the end of their careers, but remained with their original team. Favre won't be traded just because he's Brett Favre, but there are other factors.
First, what's the compensation for a soon-to-be 37-year-old quarterback who may not play past 2006? He's a legend in the game, but can the Packers expect a first-round pick in return? Maybe the pick is based on how far the team goes in the playoffs, if at all.
Also, what about his salary-cap number? It has to fit under the team's salary cap or it can't be done.
Second, what about bringing in Favre mid-season to learn a new offense and get on the same page chemistry-wise with the receivers? You see how Favre finds Donald Driver at almost every crucial moment? That won't happen with a new team. Him being traded to any team makes no sense, unless Favre would guarantee he'd return for 2007. There's no guarantee Favre would lead Tampa Bay or Washington to the playoffs and maybe farther this season.
The pressure would be immense and too much would have to fall in line for it to happen.
Third, major trades don't happen in the NFL like they do in the NBA, Major League Baseball or even the NHL. The trade deadline is in mid-Octorber, but who cares? The only trades that happen, if any, are marginal players.
Fourth, Packers GM Ted Thompson, although piecing his team together for the future, doesn't want to be known as the GM who traded Favre out of Green Bay. Never has a player been loved so much by Packers fans like Favre.
Not only is he the only three-time MVP in NFL history, he led the Packers back to the Super Bowl twice, winning once, he overcame a pain-killer addiction, showing his human side and turned his life around off the field and became a family man. It's been a blessing to watch him grow and throw the football around since 1992. Thomspon doesn't want to take that on. He'll wait for Favre to pull his own plug and move on. A player of Favre's ilk being traded in mid-season? I guarantee it won't happen.
AND ONE OTHER THING
There has been talk about Favre stepping aside later in the season to give Rodgers starts. The key word here is "starts."
Favre has started 223 consecutive games, which is easily an NFL record for quarterbacks. It's likely the one record Favre cares most about. With that in mind, what do you think the chances are Favre would be called into coach Mike McCarthy's office in November or December and he would tell him, "Brett, we're going to start Aaron the rest of the season to get him some work and prepare him for the future. You'll be the backup."
No coach could ever pull that off, not even Mike Holmgren. Favre is going to finish this season where he started – on the field under center for the Green Bay Packers.
Maybe he will sit a little near the end of the season to get Rodgers playing time, but Favre will not play for another team and he won't play second fiddle.
He's earned the right to finish his career the way he started it – and he will – playing for the Packers.
So forget about the trade talk, it's a waste of time. Just enjoy what may be the final season being played by a legendary quarterback.
Editor's note: Doug Ritchay is a longtime sportswriter and former Packers beat writer for the Green Bay News-Chronicle. E-mail at email@example.com.