Favre waited till just before the NFL draft in mid-April to announce that he planned to return to play football. Before that time, the Packers were faced with a mountain of uncertainty. Though they never admitted as much, it had to affect the way the team approached the open market and the NFL draft. The uncertainty at the quarterback position last year at this time also had to have an effect on how other free agents perceived the Packers. Favre's indecision last season may have cost the Packers a chance of obtaining a few quality free agents.
This year, the Packers are in a much better situation. The team will be entering free agency armed with about $28 million to spend under the salary cap. The Packers know Favre will be back, and they have a team that will be a playoff contender, especially if general manager Ted Thompson can re-sign some of his own valued players and add a few more weapons, either through free agency or the draft.
Favre's announcement Friday certainly helped Green Bay's chances of landing a free agent that can make an impact with the Packers in 2007. Let's say a guy like Randy Moss. Though many Packers fans despise the wide receiver, who once unleashed a fake ‘moon' to fans in Lambeau Field, he could step in and provide an immediate impact for the Packers at a position where play-makers are needed.
Favre and Moss share the same agent in James "Bus" Cook, and reports have swirled of Favre's wish for the Packers to trade for Oakland's disgruntled receiver. Though it would be odd to see Moss as a Packer, it is not far-fetched. But the bottom line is that with Favre definitely on board with the Packers in 2007, Moss landing in Green Bay is more likely to happen than if Favre had decided to retire or was in limbo over his future till mid-April.
As far as that goes, the Packers have a much better chance of signing free agents that can make an immediate impact because of the fact that Favre is back with the Pack. Green Bay should be able to draw more interest from free agents this season, knowing that the Packers have a legitimate chance to go to the playoffs behind the future Hall of Famer. And they know that in early February instead of mid-April.
"It could," said Thompson. "Funny thing about free agency, sometimes it's the almighty dollar sign that has the most influence. I don't know whether it will or whether it doesn't. I think each free agent decides where he wants to go for his own reasons. But I do think Brett Favre is a good teammate to have and I'm sure people around the league would think that."
The top positions where the Packers need to improve includes tight end, safety and wide receiver. Within the next few weeks, other NFL teams will begin dumping some veteran players because of salary cap reasons. With any luck, the Packers will be in position to capitalize with a plan of attack that centers around Favre.
"I think having Brett Favre on your team is a positive when you're going out and talking to other people," Thompson said.
It certainly won't hurt Green Bay's chances of landing the weapons that it needs.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com.