Former Viking Ben Leber is pulling back the curtain on some of the behind-the-scenes stories about the Vikings locker room and, as players were reporting to Mankato Thursday, he fired back regarding Brett Favre, telling KFAN radio host Dan Barriero he was irritated that Favre returned for the 2010 season simply for the money.
Favre, who did a long sit-down interview with Deion Sanders of NFL Network, said last week that his primary motivation to come back in 2010 was simply for a huge paycheck. While Leber said he could understand Favre being straightforward now about his rationale, at the time, he wasn't happy about it.
"I think he was being candid and honest, which I appreciate," Leber said. "It would be hard for any one player if you were on the fence to sit there and turn down – what was it? – $25 million. In that situation, you can't say it's not about the money. Obviously, if he's on the fence and what we went through to get him back, he clearly wasn't mentally or emotionally into it. That's the thing that kind of bugged me."
He went on to say that if money was the only motivation, Favre shouldn't have come back for a 20th season.
"I get it," Leber said. "You've got to make the money when you can make it – even though he's made hundreds of millions of dollars. When he says it's about the money it just means that he wasn't committed to us. That irritated me a little bit – not for him taking the money, but for what it really meant. It was like, ‘Yeah, I'll kind of stagger back in here and give you what I've got, but I just know wholeheartedly I don't have it in me and the money's too good to pass up.' If that's the case then move on. I'd rather go with somebody that's maybe less talented that's 100 percent committed to us winning. It bugged me a little bit. I wouldn't say I lost sleep over it, but it bugged me."
In Favre's defense, he wasn't going to come back until a trio of veteran players went down to Mississippi and essentially kidnapped and brought him back to Minnesota. He said at the time that, if it was solely up to him, he wouldn't have come back. However, it would appear that his return wasn't met with the same joy by the team as it was when he arrived in 2009.
At least the Vikings have the memory of 10 wins in the first 11 games of the 2009 season. Perhaps that can help erase the memory of the nine wins the Vikings have had in the two seasons since.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Leber irritated with Favre's 2010 money grab
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