Good luck in New York, Brett, you'll need it

Trade is best case scenario for Packers, challenging situation for Favre

I have to admit that when I first learned of Brett Favre being traded to the New York Jets, I chuckled. Favre got his wish to continue his football career Wednesday night, all right, but with a team that is coming off a 4-12 record? In the AFC? The Green Bay Packers could not have dreamed of a better situation.

The trade probably is not what Favre envisioned, but maybe that was his only option at this point. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly showed some interest in Favre this week, but in the end it was the Jets who offered Green Bay something decent in return.

Somewhere the Packers' brass is throwing a private celebration party as a result of this deal. They finally concluded a saga that continued way too long and can now get on with focusing on the rest of their team and season.

That fact that Favre had to be talked into playing for the Jets by the team's owner says something. Even Favre knows that New York's chances of making the AFC playoffs this season are remote at best. The Jets, their fans and media feel like Favre is going to take them to the promised land, but they're not going any farther than the Meadowlands.

Is it realistic to think that a soon-to-be 39-year-old quarterback is going to step into a new offense about a month before the season begins and turn a sorry team into a winner? For a guy who was not committed to playing football for most of this offseason, I don't think so.

Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy and the staff must have been polka dancing in the hallways of Lambeau Field into the wee hours of this morning. While Jets fans may be dancing as well on Broadway, they probably shouldn't get their hopes up too high. This isn't the Favre of the mid-1990s that they're getting.

Actually, this could turn out to be a very sad way for another future Hall of Famer to end his career. If Favre is injured because of the Jets' lack of protection from their offensive line, it would be a terrible way for the league's ironman to finish up. But that's what he wants and now he's got a skyscraper or two to climb in the Big Apple. Joe Montana never turned the Kansas City Chiefs around. Steve McNair fell way short in Baltimore, Johnny Unitas was hapless in San Diego and Joe Namath flopped with the then-Los Angeles Rams.

If you think Favre and the Jets are going to do any damage in the NFL this year, you're dreaming.

This deal could not have turned out any better for Green Bay. I'll say it again and again to everyone who will listen. The Packers probably will get a draft pick, which is about all they could have hoped to get for Favre. It's unfortunate that it had to come to this, but it has and now we can finally turn our attention to the team, which is expected to do well under Aaron Rodgers.

No doubt that it will be weird watching Favre in a different uniform, playing for a different team. But that's what he and the Packers ultimately wanted to happen. Are you really ready for some football, Brett? We'll now see exactly how much Favre is committed and wants to play. He has his work cut out for him to say the least.

Favre leaves Green Bay as the NFL's all-time leader in most major passing categories – touchdowns (442), yards (61,655), completions (5,377) and attempts (8,758) – and his 253-game starting streak intact. He also is the league's all-time interceptions leader with 288, a total that will probably skyrocket with the Jets.

By playing 16 seasons in a Packers uniform (1992-2007), Favre matches Bart Starr (1956-71) for the longest tenure in team history among his 30 team records.

Favre's career will continue on for at least another season, maybe two, but memories of him with the Packers will linger for years to come in the minds of many fans.

Favre going to the Jets doesn't make a whole lot of sense football-wise, but then again Favre has surprised fans throughout this offseason. Will he suddenly be effective with his new team? I don't think so. The Packers are unofficially 1-0 in 2008.

Todd Korth writes for PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at packrepted@aol.com.


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