I have been down in Houston on business, so I missed the whole 'Favre is retiring' Web snafu. Assuming it was only a technical mistake, it is not a big deal, other than the headache and embarrassment it caused them. But what if it was form of Freudian foreshadowing? What if in spite of some public pronouncements that he will come back, they actually think he might ride off into the sunset? I know that newspapers sometimes prepare obituaries for people likely to die, so I do not think that having a Favre Retires web page prepared is any big deal. But what I would like to see is the Favre Returns page, because if they are telling the truth, then they would have had that one ready to go just the same.
And there is reason to doubt what the Packers tell us given the Andrew Brandt story that broke this week? Earlier reports indicated that he was leaving to pursue other opportunities, but it now appears that he was basically fired because his expired contract was not renewed. There are a couple of ways to look at this. The team was just trying to protect him from embarassement and this way he could leave on his own terms. I understand that, but the Packers had to know it would get out. I knew about it, but did not feel the need to report it out of respect to him. It was obvious to me what happened.
The other side of it is that Brandt is liked, respected and has a good rep among reporters and the few agents I know and to fire him might look bad. Why would Ted Thompson let him go (without a reason) when his reputation is pretty good? This way you hopefully avoid those questions. To justify it, you would have to explain the reasons why he was leaving and maybe they do not have any that they want to share, or any that make sense. This is the second big separation (John Jones) that the Packers seem to have handled poorly.
I also seem to have missed the news that Corey Williams will be traded to the Browns. Reports are that the Pack will get the Browns' second round pick, which is strong assuming that pick pans out. Some notables second round picks over the past couple of years:
1956 - Forrest Gregg
1958 - Jim Taylor
1960 - Bob Jeter
1961 - Ron Kostelnik
1963 - Tom Brown
1972 - Chester Marcol
1977 - Greg Koch
1980 - Mark Lee
1987 - Johnny Holland
1990 - LeRoy Butler
1997 - Darren Sharper
1999 - Mike Wahle - exercised in the 1998 Supplemental Draft
2000 - Chad Clifton
2005 - Nick Collins
2006 - Greg Jennings and Daryn Colledge
2007 - Brandon Jackson
If they get a guy similar to past second round picks, I guess it would be a good deal. If they get a Robert Ferguson (stiff) or Fred Vinson (injured), it would not be such a good deal. Or they can trade that pick for an Al Harris type of player.
This kind of thing is always a risk and only time will tell. If Williams goes to Cleveland and has a good career, Justin Harrell continues to underachieves, or the second rounder fails to produce, it will be a bad trade. But if Harrell proves to be a good player, worthy of his draft position and the second rounder contributes (at a lower cap number than Williams would have demanded) then it is a good trade.
John Lombardi is a frequent contributor to PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.