Another summer of Favre?

John Madden did what his young(er) idol, Brett Favre, doesn't seem to be able to do – retire without caveat. So, spark up the speculation flames once again.

Say it ain't so, Brett. Say it ain't so.

There are certain lull periods in the NFL season in which there isn't a whole lot to keep the NFL in the news. Last summer that got skipped over as Brett Favre made headlines daily in the weeks leading up to training camp, which had the Vikings accused of tampering when the future Hall of Famer decided to un-retire just months after a tearful speech saying he was done with the game.

It would seem he is at it again, suffering his latest bout of boxer's remorse. In a statement released by the Jets Tuesday, it was announced that Brett Favre has asked for and received his release from the team's reserve/retired list. After trading up in the first round to land Mark Sanchez, it is clear that the Jets have moved on and have no intention of bringing Favre back.

That goes both ways.

In his own statement, Favre said that "at this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football."

Here we go again. Let's break down that sentence like we're at a Bill Clinton deposition. What does "at this time" mean? Could that be replaced with "currently" or "for the moment" or "until I change my mind again?"

The talk of Favre coming to the Vikings was so intense last summer that the Vikings had to talk to Commissioner Roger Goodell and explain that they weren't tampering with Favre. As training camp opened, there was more talk around Mankato and league-wide about Favre than there was about any of the 80 players that were actually there to practice football. When the situation was finally resolved and Favre was traded to the Jets, a caveat was put in the deal that if the Jets got crafty and turned around and traded Favre to Minnesota, it would cost them two first-round draft picks – effectively killing that option in its tracks.

At that time, the Vikings had a clearer need at quarterback with Gus Frerotte coming in to be Tarvaris Jackson's backup. This time around, the starting QB job is considerably more unsettled. Many expected Sage Rosenfels to be the Vikings quarterback, but, if the Vikings still have an interest in Favre, this time it would only cost them whatever Favre's salary demands might be, not any draft picks.

It seems to be déjà vu all over again. The Vikings have made significant improvements to their team over the last couple of years, making strides at defensive end, wide receiver, the secondary and the offensive line. The one position that hasn't been severely altered or upgraded has been quarterback. Like it or not, if the Vikings coaching staff believes that Favre is healed from his torn biceps in his throwing arm, is there the possibility that No. 4 makes yet another Cher-like return from retirement?

The beat goes on. Stay tuned in the coming weeks. The soap opera would seem to be back on the air.

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