Former NFL GM Talks Favre Scenarios

Former Redskins and Texans general manager Charley Casserly attended Vikings training camp on Saturday and went in-depth with his thoughts on the Brett Favre drama and the possibilities that he ends up with the Vikings. See what the long-time NFL decision-maker had to say about it from many different angles.

Former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly can't think of a situation he's been in that mirrors the Brett Favre saga, and he has to go old-school to come up with even mythical scenarios that might have rivaled the much-publicized debated between the Green Bay Packers quarterback and his standing with the team.

Favre has reportedly told the Packers he will report to their training camp Sunday, and the Packers are telling the future Hall of Famer that he won't be a starter and he won't be released. If they hold true to their word, that leaves Favre with two possibilities – either stay retired (as of Saturday evening, he hadn't filed his re-instatement papers with the league) or be traded.

The Vikings are one of the teams that national media pundits say Favre would like to play for, but Casserly, who was at Vikings training camp on Saturday, seems pretty sure that's not going to happen.

"Brett Favre is not even a consideration because he's not going to be here. It's that simple," Casserly said in the middle of a 20-minute interview with Viking Update.

That's not to say that the Vikings couldn't use him, but Casserly knows from experience how risky it is to trade a player to a team within your division. He did it once and would never do it again, even if it meant getting more compensation than other teams might offer.

"There is no right or wrong on this stuff, it's opinions and that's my opinion. I got burned on that. We had a player named Dean Hamel," Casserly said, referring to his days as general manager of the Redskins. "A coach comes to me and said, ‘I want him cut. You've got two days to figure out what you want to do with him.' Dallas was first on the waiver claim, so if we cut him, he goes to Dallas. I was able to get a fourth-round draft choice out of Dallas in a trade because they thought other people were interested in him, so technically we traded him in the division. He could have wound up there anyway and he would have.

"The next year Dallas goes 1-15 and the only win is us on Sunday night; it knocked us out of the playoffs and this guy was a madman. He played like a madman, a locker room madman. Now, did that influence that game? I don't know. It influenced me. I'd never trade in the division – at least with players. Draft choices, I never worry about that because you're trading pieces of paper and you don't even know what you're trading when you're trading draft choices. I wouldn't trade a player because of the psychological motivation factor that he can give that other team."

Casserly explained the factors that a general manager or front office decision-maker would have to consider in trading Favre or trading for Favre.

"It's a very difficult position to be in. There is no right or wrong answer with this thing. You're going to pick a decision and go with it. I think it's hard to not take him back, that's number one. Number two, if he's back, he's going to be the starter, however you want to couch it. Number three, it will be interesting to see what will happen if he goes to another team because he's going in late, he's been in one system (for the most part) for his whole career," said Casserly, who is entering his third year in television after two-plus decades in NFL front offices. "He's going to have to go in and learn a whole new system. A good part of it is the people around him. He's not going to know the receivers, he's not going to know the tight end, may not know the coaches, the coaches may not know him. So I don't think this is like trading bubble gum cards. I don't that if he automatically shows up someplace that he's as successful as he was a year ago in Green Bay. Certainly for trading form, there's an element of what are you going to pay him – his contract is for about $12 million (for 2008 alone) – what are you going to give up, and how many years is he going to be with you. So a lot of unanswered questions there."

Casserly said Favre probably made a decision to retire before he was ready, as Favre has admitted, so he said some of the responsibility for the situation is on Favre's shoulders. He also understands the Packers' position of wanting to move on and find out about Aaron Rodgers.

But Casserly believes that despite Favre's age, he hasn't lost much physically.

"The guy had a good year and I saw him in camp last year. To me, the guy looked ageless. The guy still looked like a good player. I did not see anything to indicate that age had caught up with him in any area," he said.

Casserly believes that if Favre was with New England or Indianapolis last year, they would have won the Super Bowl. He doesn't think Favre's situation is like Johnny Unitas or Joe Namath when they were at the end of their careers and switched teams.

The league has reportedly declined to comment on speculative trading parameters, like the Packers being able to work a clause into a trade of Favre to ensure that he isn't in turn traded to the Vikings or another team in the division. However, Casserly believes they could work in such a clause – but he wasn't sure if the rule had changed since he's been in the league.

"It's an excellent question. I'm not sure I know the answer. At first I'm going to say yes because instinctively it tells me you can and I'm not so sure at some point I didn't do that in trades – can't be traded to any NFC Eastern Division team when I was with the Redskins – as a follow-up trade," he said. "I only hesitate because I was in the league so long (and) rules change. That's a rare occurrence that you'd come up with that in a trade. … You can't do it with the draft because I tried that one time and the union balked at it and the league said, ‘No, you can't.' We were making a trade and we put a contingent on there that you had to take a certain player for us to be able to make that trade and the union said you can't do that. They said that's limiting movement of players. I don't know if that rule is still there."

He said that Packers general manager Ted Thompson can't worry about the perception of the public when he is making important personnel decisions. No matter what happens, the Favre situation will certainly be dissected by the media locally and nationally and fans of the affected team(s).

One important factor could be that Thompson and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy received contract extensions and might be more willing to move forward with a younger quarterback with the assumption that their job isn't on the line if Rodgers isn't successful immediately.

Casserly knows all too well that long-term job security in the NFL is a wishful thinking.

"Once you graduate to a position of leadership, you're closer to out of a job than any other job in the building," he said. "If you try to worry about what everybody else says, you'll have no philosophy at all. Because then you're always looking over your shoulder – what are they saying. You've got to have a philosophy and plan and move forward with it."

So what would Casserly do if he were in Thompson's position? Despite all the public comments made by Favre and the Packers, he still would take Favre back and install him as the starter.

"I'm not privy to everything that has been said. There are a lot of things that I have no idea what's been said between the two parties. I have not seen anything publicly that can't be worked out. I haven't seen any statements made that are irreconcilable. I've seen a lot worse things said – Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals," Casserly said.

There is no easy answer in the Brett Favre saga, Casserly said repeatedly, but he seemed most confident that Favre will not be wearing Vikings purple this season.



Viking Update Top Stories

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"Former Washington Redskins and Houston Texans general manager Charley Casserly can't think of a situation he's been in that mirrors the Brett Favre saga, and he has to go old-school to come up with even mythical scenarios that might have rivaled the much-publicized debated between the Green Bay Packers quarterback and his standing with the team.

Favre has reportedly told the Packers he will report to their training camp Sunday, and the Packers are telling the future Hall of Famer that he won't be a starter and he won't be released. If they hold true to their word, that leaves Favre with two possibilities – either stay retired (as of Saturday evening, he hadn't filed his re-instatement papers with the league) or be traded.

The Vikings are one of the teams that national media pundits say Favre would like to play for, but Casserly, who was at Vikings training camp on Saturday, seems pretty sure that's not going to happen.

\"Brett Favre is not even a consideration because he's not going to be here. It's that simple,\" Casserly said in the middle of a 20-minute interview with Viking Update.

That's not to say that the Vikings couldn't use him, but Casserly knows from experience how risky it is to trade a player to a team within your division. He did it once and would never do it again, even if it meant getting more compensation than other teams might offer.

\"There is no right or wrong on this stuff, it's opinions and that's my opinion. I got burned on that. We had a player named Dean Hamel,\" Casserly said, referring to his days as general manager of the Redskins. \"A coach comes to me and said, ‘I want him cut. You've got two days to figure out what you want to do with him.' Dallas was first on the waiver claim, so if we cut him, he goes to Dallas. I was able to get a fourth-round draft choice out of Dallas in a trade because they thought other people were interested in him, so technically we traded him in the division. He could have wound up there anyway and he would have.

\"The next year Dallas goes 1-15 and the only win is us on Sunday night; it knocked us out of the playoffs and this guy was a madman. He played like a madman, a locker room madman. Now, did that influence that game? I don't know. It influenced me. I'd never trade in the division – at least with players. Draft choices, I never worry about that because you're trading pieces of paper and you don't even know what you're trading when you're trading draft choices. I wouldn't trade a player because of the psychological motivation factor that he can give that other team.\"

Casserly explained the factors that a general manager or front office decision-maker would have to consider in trading Favre or trading for Favre.

\"It's a very difficult position to be in. There is no right or wrong answer with this thing. You're going to pick a decision and go with it. I think it's hard to not take him back, that's number one. Number two, if he's back, he's going to be the starter, however you want to couch it. Number three, it will be interesting to see what will happen if he goes to another team because he's going in late, he's been in one system (for the most part) for his whole career,\" said Casserly, who is entering his third year in television after two-plus decades in NFL front offices. \"He's going to have to go in and learn a whole new system. A good part of it is the people around him. He's not going to know the receivers, he's not going to know the tight end, may not know the coaches, the coaches may not know him. So I don't think this is like trading bubble gum cards. I don't that if he automatically shows up someplace that he's as successful as he was a year ago in Green Bay. Certainly for trading form, there's an element of what are you going to pay him – his contract is for about $12 million (for 2008 alone) – what are you going to give up, and how many years is he going to be with you. So a lot of unanswered questions there.\"

Casserly said Favre probably made a decision to retire before he was ready, as Favre has admitted, so he said some of the responsibility for the situation is on Favre's shoulders. He also understands the Packers' position of wanting to move on and find out about Aaron Rodgers.

But Casserly believes that despite Favre's age, he hasn't lost much physically.

\"The guy had a good year and I saw him in camp last year. To me, the guy looked ageless. The guy still looked like a good player. I did not see anything to indicate that age had caught up with him in any area,\" he said.

Casserly believes that if Favre was with New England or Indianapolis last year, they would have won the Super Bowl. He doesn't think Favre's situation is like Johnny Unitas or Joe Namath when they were at the end of their careers and switched teams.

The league has reportedly declined to comment on speculative trading parameters, like the Packers being able to work a clause into a trade of Favre to ensure that he isn't in turn traded to the Vikings or another team in the division. However, Casserly believes they could work in such a clause – but he wasn't sure if the rule had changed since he's been in the league.

\"It's an excellent question. I'm not sure I know the answer. At first I'm going to say yes because instinctively it tells me you can and I'm not so sure at some point I didn't do that in trades – can't be traded to any NFC Eastern Division team when I was with the Redskins – as a follow-up trade,\" he said. \"I only hesitate because I was in the league so long (and) rules change. That's a rare occurrence that you'd come up with that in a trade. … You can't do it with the draft because I tried that one time and the union balked at it and the league said, ‘No, you can't.' We were making a trade and we put a contingent on there that you had to take a certain player for us to be able to make that trade and the union said you can't do that. They said that's limiting movement of players. I don't know if that rule is still there.\"

He said that Packers general manager Ted Thompson can't worry about the perception of the public when he is making important personnel decisions. No matter what happens, the Favre situation will certainly be dissected by the media locally and nationally and fans of the affected team(s).

One important factor could be that Thompson and Packers head coach Mike McCarthy received contract extensions and might be more willing to move forward with a younger quarterback with the assumption that their job isn't on the line if Rodgers isn't successful immediately.

Casserly knows all too well that long-term job security in the NFL is a wishful thinking.

\"Once you graduate to a position of leadership, you're closer to out of a job than any other job in the building,\" he said. \"If you try to worry about what everybody else says, you'll have no philosophy at all. Because then you're always looking over your shoulder – what are they saying. You've got to have a philosophy and plan and move forward with it.\"

So what would Casserly do if he were in Thompson's position? Despite all the public comments made by Favre and the Packers, he still would take Favre back and install him as the starter.

\"I'm not privy to everything that has been said. There are a lot of things that I have no idea what's been said between the two parties. I have not seen anything publicly that can't be worked out. I haven't seen any statements made that are irreconcilable. I've seen a lot worse things said – Chad Johnson, Cincinnati Bengals,\" Casserly said.

There is no easy answer in the Brett Favre saga, Casserly said repeatedly, but he seemed most confident that Favre will not be wearing Vikings purple this season.


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