New day, new bay for Favre?

With QB closing door on return to Green Bay, Tampa Bay might provide a good fit. Packer Report's Bob Fox says Favre was in Tampa this week.

With rumors swirling that Brett Favre is going to request reinstatement to the NFL by sending a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell any day now, the question is what will happen next?

Will Favre force the Packers' hand by having himself and Aaron Rodgers on hand for training camp? Will Favre come in as a backup or will there be open competition for the starting QB job? Or will the reinstatement move signal a trade is imminent.

Favre said on his interview on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," that the first few options are not probable.

"It's tempting because everyone is saying, ‘Call their bluff,' or whatever," Favre told Van Susteren. "I think it's going to be a circus in itself already, whether I go there or whatever. ... Will I play somewhere else? Remains to be seen. But I don't want to go back there just to stick it to them."

Favre voiced no interest in coming back as a backup or battling Rodgers, either.

"If they want to make me a backup ... the thing is, they've been preaching about, 'We want to protect Brett's legacy' ... and we both know what that's about,'" Favre told Van Susteren. "How does that protect my legacy if I'm a backup? ‘Brett, we welcome you back, we'll play you $12 million but you've got to hold the clipboard and ball cap.' That's probably better for them as opposed to letting me go somewhere and me coming back. Then, their legacy, the management, could be in jeopardy. Let me worry about that. You don't worry about my legacy. It's a bunch of bull. That's all it is."

Favre can forget about his wish of getting released. That will never happen. Not with his old quarterbacks coach Darrell Bevell as the offensive coordination of the Minnesota Vikings, who could use a proven quarterback.

So, where could Favre be traded? The Packers would like to trade Favre out of conference, like was done with Joe Montana, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas. Possible suitors include the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs. The NFC has a few possible suitors, as well, such as the Washington Redskins, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

If a trade is worked out, Favre will have to be agreeable to it, since he could veto the deal by simply by declining to report.

So, the Packers and Favre must agree on a list of teams he can be traded to. The first step in the process would be for Favre to reach a comfort level with a particular team.

My friends at WDAE radio in Tampa, Fla., reported Tuesday that they had two or more sources who saw Favre at Fleming's Steakhouse in Tampa, near the airport. Favre was supposedly in the company of Bruce Allen and other Buccaneers upper management. I also heard Favre went on a tour at Raymond James Stadium to inspect the facilities, and Deanna Favre reportedly toured Tampa General Hospital.

Allen, however, said the meeting never took place. "I think the people at Fleming's can tell you that's absolutely not true,'' Allen told The Tampa Tribune on Tuesday. But is there any Buccaneers interest in Favre?

"I won't go there," Allen said.

No matter what Allen says, it would seem like the Buccaneers and Favre would be a good fit. The biggest reason is coach Jon Gruden, who coached Favre from 1992 to 1994 under Mike Holmgren. The climate in Tampa is similar to his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., and a polar opposite from the extreme cold Favre had issues with late in his career. Plus, the Tampa Bay area is across the Gulf of Mexico from the Favre homestead.

The Bucs run a version of the West Coast Offense that Favre knows well. The verbiage will be foreign to Favre, but he should be able to adapt to it. Plus, the Bucs and QB Jeff Garcia seem to be at an impasse on a contract extension. The Bucs have plenty of cap room to absorb Favre's hefty contract. 

The fit seems natural. In Green Bay, Favre was sometimes called a gunslinger. In Tampa Bay, he would be known as a swashbuckler.  

I can visualize Favre there now. Palm trees, a buccaneer village, a pirate battle ship and cannons going off. Gruden will be making a lot of his facial contortions, but he will be happy coaching perhaps his all-time favorite player. It's not the ending that most Packers fans want, but that may be what happens.

Bob Fox is a frequent contributor to E-mail him at

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