Favre, Packers on shaky ground

PackerReport.com's Dylan Tomlinson offers his thoughts on how Brett Favre's frustration over the Packers' inability to trade for Randy Moss has doomed his once solid relationship with the team

Brett Favre may be the most beloved man in Wisconsin, but that doesn't make his relationship with the Green Bay Packers any less dysfunctional.

Favre complained to the Biloxi Sun Herald on Saturday about Packers general manager Ted Thompson's inability or unwillingness to pull the trigger on a trade for receiver Randy Moss.

Favre's frustration is understandable. He's going to play one, maybe two more seasons and he wants to be playing for a contender. In all likelihood, he won't be with the Packers.

Unless receiver Greg Jennings becomes a superstar during his sophomore season or rookie running back Brandon Jackson is able to have the same kind of rookie season that Joseph Addai had in Indianapolis or Maurice Jones-Drew had in Jacksonville, the Packers are going to be much worse on offense than they were a year ago.

Favre wants to play for a team that will contend during the 2007 season. Based on Thompson's desire to build through the draft rather than trades or free agency he appears to be building a team that will contend in a year or two, which is when Favre will be spending the football season hunting, golfing and sitting on his tractor in Mississippi.

"There are times when I wonder if I'm the odd man out here and they just don't know how to tell me." Favre told the Sun Herald.

Favre is exactly right and that's why this relationship is doomed to end badly. Thompson knows he can't trade or cut Favre. While the Dallas Cowboys cut Troy Aikman, and the San Francisco 49ers traded Joe Montana, that's still not enough precedent for Thompson to get rid of the best player in franchise history. He knows such a move would get him run out of town.

Favre could take some of the pressure off Thompson by publicly requesting a trade, but even by doing that, he would be showing that he doesn't like the team's direction and that would likely reflect very poorly on Thompson and McCarthy, and could cost both their jobs.

Right now the most realistic scenario for all parties is that Favre plays for the Packers during the 2007 season. He can break Dan Marino's touchdown record and collect his $11 million salary and then walk off into the Mississippi sunset as Thompson and McCarthy prepare Aaron Rodgers to be the starter for the 2008 season.

But that would be too neat and tidy and that's not how Favre operates.

Favre has spent the last six seasons threatening to retire. Favre has spent the last two off-seasons being extremely critical of Thompson because he doesn't want to be held responsible if the Packers have another season similar to 2005, when they went 4-12. Favre will accept the credit if the Packers win, but if they struggle, he wants to be sure Thompson is to blame. There's no way Favre will let Thompson's laissez-faire attitude toward trades and free agency soil his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.

Favre has said repeatedly that his dream is to leave the game the same way John Elway did, after winning a Super Bowl.

Right now, it's hard to imagine any way Favre could accomplish that, especially not with the Packers.

Favre has a Super Bowl title, three MVPs and is likely a few games from becoming the most prolific touchdown passer in NFL history. Apparently, the only thing he can't do is find a way to gracefully walk away from the game.

Dylan Tomlinson

Dylan Tomlinson is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at dylan1226@gmail.com.

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