Is the shine going off the Brett Favre-to-the-Vikings scenario? The passing of last week's minicamp continued the saga of conflicting media reports about when or if Favre and the Vikings will hook up for Brett's last fling as an NFL quarterback.
Last Monday, a report from Peter King said that, if something was going to get done with the Vikings, it would likely get done within the week. The rationale made some sense. If the Vikings had some kind of assurance that Favre's partially torn right biceps tendon would be healed by the start of training camp – still almost two months away – that a deal could be struck now and that he could be fully up to speed with the Vikings personnel by the time the heavy lifting portion of the workload would begin during training camp.
Although it seemed like a plausible scenario, the week of speculation came and went. The latest rumor is that, if Favre is going to come to Minnesota, it won't be until August – replaying the scenario that led to Favre going to the Jets last year. However, there is one huge difference this time around. Last year when Favre had his change of heart, he was still contractually bound to the Packers. The team had taken him at his word that he was done playing football and moved on. All of the organized team activities, voluntary workouts and minicamps were held with the premise that Aaron Rodgers was the new top dog in Green Bay and that the post-Favre era was beginning for better or worse. When Favre did a 180-degree turn following the final Packers minicamp, what followed was a month-long attempt by the Packers to talk Favre out of coming back.
Fans likely recall that the team offered Favre a $20 million personal services contract simply not to come back as a player. Whether paranoia or not, the fear was that if the Packers didn't take Favre back, he somehow would end up with the Vikings. Their fears were essentially based on the perception of the truth, since the team claimed the Vikings tampered with Favre in the Phonegate scandal that started the Vikings' 2008 training camp under a cloud of suspicion. The Vikings were cleared of any wrongdoing, but the Favre storyline dominated the start of camp. Even when he was eventually traded, the Packers included a poison pill in the deal with the Jets that would require a crippling compensation package if New York tried to pull a fast one and simply trade Favre away to the Vikings. That didn't happen and it has led to what we're seeing play out today.
The potential scenario of waiting until August doesn't make any sense because, as an unrestricted free agent after being granted his release by the Jets a week after the draft, Favre can potentially sign with any team at any time. It has created a problem in determining just how healthy his throwing arm is and how quickly it can improve – whether surgically or on its own.
Another difference between this year and last year in the Favre saga is the lack of media leaks that are taking place. In the weeks leading up to training camp last year, it seemed like somebody new was getting an exclusive from Favre via phone call or text message every few days. This time around, there has been nothing but silence, despite stakeouts of his home by various members of the national media. Favre ain't talkin' and, as one would expect, the Vikings are being equally tight-lipped.
While the media has discussed widely divergent deadlines that may be in place for Favre and perhaps set by the Vikings, if they were to make a movie script of this process, it would likely be called "Look Who's Not Talking." If the Vikings truly have an interest in signing Favre, the longer they wait will make any switch at the position harder for the rest of the team to swallow. The team has gone through the early OTAs and last weekend's minicamp with the promise that Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson would be fighting it out for the starting job. Like the Packers situation with Rodgers last year, the farther along that process goes, the harder it will be to do an about-face and switch gears if Favre is signed. If the lack of a concrete decision isn't made soon, the potential backlash could be much more disruptive if it held off until the 11th hour.
And the beat goes on.
Favre deadlines continue to come and go
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