After a week in which the local and national media haven't said the "F-word" (Favre) in relation to the Vikings, Peter King of Sports Illustrated has thrown another Favre log on the fire, intimating that if something is going to get done with the Vikings and QB Brett Favre, it is likely to come soon – perhaps as early as this week.
In his weekly "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, King speculates that the Vikings will want to know where Favre stands on making his return to the NFL soon, very soon.
"He's going to have a make a decision whether to join the Vikings very soon, probably by this weekend, because the Vikings want to know what their 2009 future is at quarterback," King writes. "I'm told the organization won't wait for a decision much longer, and if he has to get a minor operation to snip the damaged right biceps tendon that has been giving him pain, he has to do it soon. Like, within a week."
It is clear that in his current state, Favre is in no condition to take part in practices and throw without restriction. The big issue remains the right biceps tendon is causing Favre considerable pain. While neither Favre nor the Vikings have been publicly addressing what needs to be done – whether it be minor surgery or exercises that would allow the partially torn tendon to tear on its own – one thing that is becoming clear is that the Vikings are moving forward with Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson as their primary QBs…for the time being.
King intimates that the priority for the Vikings is having a clear goal for the 2009 season as soon as possible. While it seems clear that Favre won't be able to compete in the teams minicamps or OTAs – the full-squad minicamp is this weekend and the OTA periods will resume June 2-5, 8-11 and 15-16 – unless the Vikings get some sort of commitment from Favre soon that he will be as close to 100 percent as he can be by the time training camp opens, they may have to move on without him.
The most logical solution to the problem, King says, is for Favre to have a minor surgical procedure that would have a recovery time of four to six weeks. By that timetable, he would need to have something done by the end of May to have his arm and shoulder healed by the time training camp opens at the end of July. Seeing as there is only one week left in May, that would likely entail getting something done within a week or so.
It is unlikely Favre would have the surgery if he didn't have an assurance that he would be signed by the Vikings. By the same token, the Vikings likely wouldn't sign Favre unless they know that he will be at 100 percent. The Jets learned the hard way that Favre's fickle attitude toward continuing his playing career can come with a price. After making the much-discussed trade with the Packers, which included a poison pill that specifically addressed the potential of the Jets turning around and trading Favre to the Vikings, once the trade was announced, the Jets almost immediately released long-time starter Chad Pennington and subsequently mortgaged a lot to move up in this year's draft to select USC quarterback Mark Sanchez. He was only in New York for one season, but the ramifications of his signing were pronounced – both at the time and for the future.
The Vikings are coming off a division championship and, from discussions we had with players at the end of the season and since, simply winning a second straight division title isn't the end-all goal of the team. This year, the goal is to get another division crown and make a deep playoff run, with the ultimate goal being a berth in the Super Bowl. The team likely doesn't want to head into training camp with the distraction of "will he or won't he?" hanging over their heads in relation to Favre's playing status.
While the Favre-to-Minnesota saga has been brewing for a month now since the draft in April and his subsequent release by the Jets, it would seem the clock is ticking for both sides and, as King points out, we may soon be reaching zero hour when it comes to making the final decision.
"I get the strong sense that if the Vikings are going to do any deal with Favre that coach Brad Childress wants to be assured that Favre will report to training camp in game shape, with no restrictions on throwing or his condition," King wrote. "They'd also like Favre to be involved in the mental part of team activities before camp. He has missed the first week of Organized Team Activities (last week), and he's all but out of this weekend's final mandatory full-squad mini-camp before training camp."
As has been the case for the last several weeks, neither side is being very forthcoming about their plans, but it would make sense that a decision needs to be made soon – whether it be an announcement that Favre is coming to the Vikings or that the team is moving on with what they have. Could it come by the end of the week? It would only make sense that, for better or worse, the decision comes ASAP.
Favre decision could come this week
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