Favre has gone from the team's centerpiece to a smelly leftover destined for the trash.
But here we are, and the Packers pretty much made it clear in their statement today that they want to continue on with Aaron Rodgers. So what about Favre and his desire to play elsewhere?
Two options: Green Bay can honor his request, which is very risky, or it can trade him away to a different team. The Packers would be fools to honor his request, then watch as he signs on with a team like the Minnesota Vikings. If the Packers go about their business like they would with any other player that wants out of Green Bay, they will make a trade and try to get something for the legendary quarterback. General manager Ted Thompson did the same with Javon Walker a few years ago. Mike Sherman did it with disgruntled cornerback Mike McKenzie.
If Favre thinks the Packers will comply with his request, he's fooling himself. While Favre will long be remembered as an icon for the Packers, he in no way is bigger than the Packers. The Packers were established long before Favre and will be long after Favre finally does hang up the cleats.
Favre now is concerned only about himself and hinting that it's all the Packers' fault for not begging him to return in January and February. The Packers said they asked him more than once to come back for the 2008 season. How much more kissing up do Thompson and Mike McCarthy have to do?
Favre has dinked around with offseason indecision for the past five years, which has been a burden on the Packers whether they admit it or not. Now when he finally makes a decision to retire, he turns around four months later and decides to unretire and the Packers are supposed to tell a quarterback that has been waiting patiently for three years to wait at least one more year? I don't think so.
The Packers said today that they "will do what's right and in the best interest of the team." If you read between the lines there, they are saying that they will trade Favre, not release him. Like other players of value, teams simply will not release them because they don't want to play for that organization. So, look for the Packers to trade Favre and do what's in the best interest of Packers fans and the organization, not Favre and Favre fans.
Packers fans deserve as much. Whether the team has been lousy or among the elite, fans have always been there. They've always demanded a winner, but showed support through lean seasons. If you're strictly a Favre fan, you'll have to cheer for him while he wears a different uniform this year.
The Packers would be irresponsible to simply release Favre. Sure, it would be a nice gesture, but not so nice if Favre is competing against the Packers this season. Trade him to Oakland or Miami or Baltimore, but not to an NFC team.