If Favre were not the icon that he is with the Packers, he probably would have been dealt away a few years ago when general manager Ted Thompson arrived on the scene. However, for reasons in which I'll touch on a few paragraphs later, Favre has remained with the Packers and probably will until he decides to walk away from the team, and not the team shoving him off to the retirement pasture, or another NFL team.
As I've said many times in the past year or so, the Packers should deal Favre away and get on with the Aaron Rodgers era. Rodgers is ready to step in and lead the team's young offense just as much as Favre. In fact, Rodgers probably knows the offense much better than Favre since he has participated in Mike McCarthy's off-season quarterback camps in each of the last two years. Rodgers, obviously, is less experienced than Favre and doesn't have the mighty arm strength that Favre still possesses, but Rodgers can compensate in other ways, like with his ability to run.
Favre is unhappy. He uncharacteristically fired a few shots at the organization through a press conference with reporters in Mississippi on Saturday regarding his frustration over Green Bay's inability to trade for veteran wide receiver Randy Moss. Favre confirmed a rumor that has spread for the last two months that he has been lobbying the Packers to get Moss. The Packers tried, but were beaten out by the New England Patriots during the draft weekend.
Favre contends that Moss would have given the Packers another legit threat, which would have freed veteran Donald Driver to make more plays. Many fans and media agree with Favre.
When Green Bay's attempt to obtain Moss fell apart, Favre was so frustrated that he reportedly asked his agent James "Bus" Cook to call Thompson and request a trade. Thompson said that the team has no interest in trading Favre away.
At this point, it wouldn't hurt the Packers to deal Favre. The team's offense will be plenty young this season, especially in the backfield. Driver represents the team's one and only playmaker at wide receiver, though, second-year pro Greg Jennings has a good chance to do something about it.
The bottom line is the team's offense is not expected to be neck-and-neck with the Indianapolis Colts in scoring points this season. With the schedule that the Packers have early on this year, a fast start is probably unrealistic. Favre said he feels like the "odd man out" and, in fact, he is in the current situation on offense.
By dealing Favre, Rodgers can go through training camp and prepare for the season as the No. 1 quarterback. That's a huge difference than going through camp and preparing as the top backup. The number of reps between the top quarterback and second string is significant, even in training camp. During the season, the backup is lucky to get any reps with the first team during practices.
The Packers, young in most areas of the roster, might be good enough to make the playoffs this season, but because of youth on the offense, are probably a year or two away from seriously contending for an NFC Championship. Since Favre has only a year or two on his Hall of Fame career, why not give him a shot to compete for a Super Bowl title with a team that wants to go for it this season?
Here are five good reasons, with a brief explanation, on why the Packers will retain Favre:
1. Favre is face of Packers
Without Favre in Green Bay, the Packers lack any kind of identity, thus, the major networks will shy away from placing the Packers in the national spotlight. He is the first player people think of when "Packers" is mentioned and that means a lot, especially financially, for the organization.
2. Late in the off-season, other teams set with QB
Most NFL teams have set their rosters for the 2007 season. While Washington, Jacksonville, Denver and Dallas may have some interest in Favre, they probably are set to battle with the guys they have on hand. Would Favre have enough time to adjust to a completely different offense?
3. Still gives Packers chance to win
Though Favre is older and slower, he still has the experience to help the Packers win. He seems to get along well with McCarthy and respects his decisions.
4. NFL records
Favre is on the verge of breaking some major NFL records this season, including most touchdown passes and wins. The Packers won't deal him to another team to have him break the records while wearing a different uniform.
5. Money, he'll probably have to take a cut
Favre is scheduled to earn about $11 million this season in base salary. If he is dealt to a different team, he probably would have to take a significant pay cut in order to fit that team's salary cap. Aside from the Packers, most teams do not have a lot of wiggle room under the salary cap to accommodate Favre's salary.
Whether he wants to be in Green Bay or not, Favre will be a Packer for the 2007 season. If Green Bay's younger receivers and running backs can come through and give the Packers the punch they need on offense, Favre will again be a happy camper.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.