If we are to believe what we've been told, the Vikings brass has essentially stayed in Minnesota and Favre has toiled the highways and cow paths of Mississippi. Brad Childress mentions in passing that he and Favre have spoken a couple of times and there have been two known visits from the team's medical staff. But who has been talking to Favre's agent – the wily Bus Cook?
Cook has been an interesting supporting actor in this melodrama – consistently claiming not to know much of anything concerning Favre's desire to keep playing, the existence or transport of X-rays or whether or not Brett wanted or needed surgery. To many, he came off as completely out of the loop. Far to the contrary. He's a long-time personal friend of Favre's, not just a business agent. They're tighter than rusty lug nuts. He tells Brett he won't lie for him, so just don't tell him anything until he needs to know. It's brilliant. They should call him "Sippin' Whiskey", because there ain't enough O's in smooth to describe this guy.
Where Cook comes in is that he is the man who negotiates Favre's contracts. When it was learned that Favre would make a decision before July 30, which has since been amended to Friday (let the countdown clocks begin), it seems the only question has been whether or not he will play in 2009 for the Vikings. Is there an element missing here? What about his contract?
It would seem from this CSI version of running fast and loose with the facts that the Vikings have already reached a contract agreement with Favre. When assertions to this were made earlier this month, it was dismissed – citing that no papers had been filed with the league and, if a contract had been reached, it would have to be reported within 48 hours or somehow be viewed as a missing person's report.
Perhaps the wily Mr. Cook already has a deal in place, but, in keeping with his other stances on issues material to Favre's comeback, is asking what exactly Brett's signature looks like. Otherwise, why would the timetable on Favre coming to the Vikings be set in stone? July 30. This Friday. In most instances, that would be putting the cart a little bit in front of the horse.
In most similar situations, when a player decides he is going to come back for another season or come out of retirement, the first step is that he proclaims himself fit to play. Then he pursues teams and tries to work out a contract. It would seem in this instance, it's been turned around. The only question at this point is whether Favre wants to play. If he does, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that a deal is already in place – probably not signed yet, but likely agreed upon. You don't make the big announcement and then spend weeks haggling over an asking price.
We might learn within the next 48 hours or so whether Favre will return to the NFL, but one thing we probably can say with some degree of certainty is that, if he does decide to play, it will be with the Vikings and the negotiating of the contract he will get has already been completed.