Favre 'picked Ted out as the villain'

ESPN's Chris provides insight into Favre trade to Jets on Milwaukee radio station

The World's Greatest Sports Talk Show with Homer (540 AM, Milwaukee) had ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen on the air Friday to discuss details surrounding quarterback Brett Favre's trade to the New York Jets. Mortensen talked about Favre's mindset, the roles of Packers President Mark Murphy and General Manager Ted Thompson and thoughts around the NFL on how the trade was dealt with during the show.

On the Favre situation needing to be dealt with better: "I think it could have been handled better. Like Mark Murphy said 'Boy if we all sat down a couple of months ago, maybe this would have been different.' Well, no kidding. If this team had an owner, this never would have happened. I've heard that from so many other executives and owners that if the Green Bay Packers had an owner it would have been handled much differently. I'm convinced of that."

On Favre's aggravation from the events leading up to the trade: "It was the most irritated I've ever seen Brett and once he confessed his guilt to retirement too early some of the things that have festered the last couple of years where he really didn't believe Ted [Thompson] wanted him back kind of manifested itself at a higher level. He really did feel that whether it was Ted or somebody else was deceiving the public, lying to the public about certain things, clearly he's picked Ted out as the villain, and it's as irritated as I've ever seen him."

On hearing around the NFL that Packers General Manager Ted Thompson was great with personnel but not great with communication: "I had heard that but I've also heard other executives say that they would have handled it just like Ted Thompson did. I've heard other say 'Ted's got to realize he's no longer a personnel guy, that he's a general manager.' But I think Ted was operating on that basis. One thing you can say about what Ted and [Packers Head Coach] Mike [McCarthy] did was 'We have a position on this and we're not blinking, we're not wavering.' Somebody could call that leadership. But I know I heard criticisms both ways."

On what Mortensen would tell Packers fans going into the season: "This is not Aaron Rodgers' fault. I think he's going to be a good quarterback and in many ways Aaron Rodgers benefited from being able to sit around for three years because so many of these quarterbacks are forced into action too soon. Matt Hasselbeck sat around longer than that but was traded to Seattle. His first year in Seattle wasn't pretty but eventually patience paid off and they had themselves a heck of a quarterback and I would say the same thing with Aaron Rodgers."

On what Mortensen would have done if he was in charge: "[Former Packers General Manager] Ron Wolf used to draft quarterbacks pretty frequently, Mark Brunell, Matt Hasselbeck, Aaron Brooks. I would have said 'Brett we're going to draft another quarterback this year. We know how you are. Let's just go forward as if you're coming back. That'll mean Aaron Rodgers gets all the reps in off-season, means we'll get a rookie quarterback ready too. And if come July you're not ready then we'll just say Brett's retiring. In other words you don't say anything.' In hindsight that's probably what I would have done."


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