When word of Brett Favre's "itch" to resume his football career first leaked to the public in late June, it seemed logical that the Packers would trade him to another team after deciding to go with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback. Especially when it became known that Favre flip-flopped on coming out of retirement a few weeks after his big retirement press conference.
At that point, the Packers likely decided that they are moving on with Rodgers and not looking back, even if there is a legend (closer than they think) in their rear-view mirror. Now Favre wants to be released, but the Packers know better than to flat out release him. In fact, they have said that they won't do it.
Favre's agent, Bus Cook, told ESPN on Wednesday that he and Favre have "no definite plans to ask for reinstatement" and it was up to the Packers to decide what to do next.
"It's their move," Cook said.
So now what? Look for the Packers to do nothing. That's right – nothing. Remember, they want to win and the longer that Favre is in limbo, the better off the Packers will be for the 2008 season. I know that's cold, but that's the way it is in the NFL. The Packers and their fans love Favre and everything he has done for the organization. However, they also have to do what is best for the organization in the wake of a rough offseason with their former star quarterback.
The Packers know that if they take him off the reserve/retired list, he probably won't report to training camp. Favre told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren as much a few times earlier this week that he won't re-join the team as a backup to Rodgers. If Favre is activated and doesn't report, he is subject to fines of thousands per day missed in camp.
If the Packers maintain the status quo, Favre cannot talk to other teams, though, the Minnesota Vikings already have reportedly violated tampering rules. And if Favre can't talk to other teams, chances are the Packers won't, either, unless they receive an offer that is too good to refuse for him. Why would the Packers want to risk trading Favre away to another team? It could blow up in their face. For what? A draft pick? It's not worth it, but, again, if someone offers the farm for him, Ted Thompson would be foolish to pass on the offer.
Whether Favre likes it or not, the Packers are protecting his legacy by holding onto him. The longer he is with the Packers, the less likely he will wind up with any team this season. The less likely he will fade away like some other great NFL quarterbacks. Most teams are set with their quarterbacks. To add Favre to an offense a week before most training camps open doesn't seem likely, especially if they want him to be the starter from the get-go.
As each day goes by, the more likely Favre will remain retired and not playing football in 2008. That probably is the best thing for him. He told Van Susteren a few times that he might not even play this year. Maybe he already is conceding to the fact that the Packers aren't about to do anything with their "move."