With the New York Jets reportedly agreeing to trade for Brett Favre, the former Packers quarterback is shipped out of the conference and off the radar of Vikings fans.
It would appear that, after more than a month of posturing and exchanges of contentious statements, the Brett Favre
era in the NFC is over. Favre, who had a very public rift with the Packers that included charges of tampering against the Vikings and Favre's wish to play with either Minnesota or Chicago, ended the saga early Thursday morning by agreeing to a trade with the New York Jets
that will send the future Hall of Famer to the AFC.
Favre's wish to come out of retirement included his plan to go to a team that had legitimate playoff aspirations. It became clear that, if things couldn't be worked out in Green Bay, Favre wanted to play for the Vikings. But, while both sides seemed to make some concessions, the Packers never wavered from their stance that they wouldn't trade Favre within the NFC North.
Packers General Manager Ted Thompson was scheduled to hold a press conference yesterday, but it was canceled due to the pending trade. For most of the day Wednesday, it was believed that Favre would be traded to Tampa Bay, but the Jets increased their offer and the possibility of trading Favre out of the conference to a team they wouldn't play in 2008 was something the Packers couldn't pass up.
The Jets reportedly have offered a conditional fourth-round draft pick that could escalate to as high as a first-round pick in the 2009 draft depending on how well Favre and the Jets perform this season.
What had been a couple of weeks of hope for many Vikings fans that the future Hall of Famer could find his way across state lines to Minnesota is now the simple resignation that he won't hurt the Vikings anymore – he was 4-0 vs. the Vikings in the Brad Childress era as head coach. After weeks of turmoil and distractions that pulled in not only the Packers, but the Vikings and other organizations as well, it would appear that the Favre soap opera is finally over and the Big Cheese is heading to the Big Apple.
Rumors out of the New York area have the Vikings as a potential landing spot for QB Chad Pennington, who is expected to be traded or released today. A story in today's Star Ledger reports that the Jets need to get rid of Pennington to save as much as $6 million against the salary cap and the Vikings are a team of interest in the post-Brett sweepstakes period. We're not so sure, as the Vikings have only $5.7 million in cap space at this time.
The Vikings will have a "mock-game" practice from 11 a.m.-noon today before heading back to the Twin Cities for Friday's 7 p.m. preseason opener with the Seahawks.
Following the game Friday and an off-day Saturday, the Vikings will return to Mankato for practice at 3 p.m. Sunday. The team will have five more days of practice before breaking camp Aug. 15.
Due to the heat and changes in the plan for this year's preseason, the Vikings have been in full pads at practice just four times during training camp.
Childress refused to speculate on how long Tarvaris Jackson and the first-team offense will play Friday, but it is believed that it will be two drives at the most and, if the offense can score a touchdown on its first possession, that may be all for the starting unit.
Brian Robison is expected to have a minor surgical procedure on a varicose vein in his left leg and is expected to return to Mankato Monday to start his rehabilitation.
Former Viking Troy Williamson sat out his fourth straight practice Wednesday for the Jaguars after tweaking a hamstring last week.
Seattle, the Vikings' opponent Friday, has several injury concerns heading into their first preseason game. DE Patrick Kerney was wearing a walking boot at practice yesterday on his left lower leg and DB Jordan Babineaux and OT Pork Chop Womack were both sidelined after having MRIs done on their injured knees. All three are expected to miss Friday's game.
Former Viking Koren Robinson, who made headlines two years ago next week with his drunk driving arrest and high-speed chase with police, has reportedly cleaned up his act and is looking for a new start in the NFL. He had hoped to get a chance to hook on with Dallas, but Cowboys officials have balked at bringing him in for a workout. After being reinstated last year, Robinson spent the second half of the 2007 season with the Packers.