A buried comment from Brett Favre uttered at least three months ago fueled another round of speculation on the quarterback's return. Don't expect any real answers for another three months, but there will undoubtedly be more public guessing.
Brace yourselves, Vikings fans. The latest chapter in the Offseason of Brett continues.
The latest incident happened Tuesday, as ESPN ran with a story by Peter King of Sports Illustrated
, or, more accurately a blurb. Buried behind an item on the retirement of punter Jeff Feagles, King added a note about Favre in which he responded to the latest news that Favre has an ankle issue that will likely require surgery. In what King admittedly said "will have little to do with whether he plays" in 2010, King quoted an unnamed player as saying he spoke to Favre, who said Favre told him, "I'm 100 percent positive I'll never put on pads again in my life."
The comment, which was supposedly made shortly following the Vikings' loss to the Saints in the NFC Championship Game, is understandable. Standing outside the Vikings locker room following that game and seeing his wife Deanna crying outside the locker room while waiting along with the media members put the situation into perspective. At that time, neither of them cared if they ever saw another packed stadium again.
The tone of King's story, much less that is was buried deep within the piece, clearly conveyed that he doesn't buy into the approximately 100-day-old comment. Yet, ESPN, which seems to enjoy filling hours of programming discussing all of the twists and turns – accurate or not – of the Favre saga, took the news bit and ran with it like a runner being handed a baton.
It became a Newscenter teaser, despite the story being shot down by the author himself of something not to have confidence in. All it has done is perpetuate the question "Is Brett coming back or not?"
A piece of advice: wait until August. Don't get your hopes up or down before then, because it's futile. We'll know in August and likely not before.
The Vikings added a definite Minnesota flavor Tuesday, signing three players who spent their college careers in the state – defensive end Cedric McKinley and cornerback Marcus Sherels of the University of Minnesota and guard Adrian Battles of Minnesota State-Mankato. All three were players that were invited to the team's rookie minicamp on a tryout basis last weekend. With their signing, it brings the list to five players invited to last week's camp that have been signed to the roster.
There has been some confusion among fans concerning the number of players the Vikings have on their roster. The cap limit is 80 players, but the Vikings have 87 currently on the roster. Why? Because the eight rookies don't count against the roster limit until they sign contracts and Ray Edwards has yet to sign his restricted free agent tender. Technically, the Vikings can have as many as 89 players under contract. However, once the rookies sign or Edwards signs a new contract or his tendered offer, the Vikings will need to reduce the roster by dropping players when others sign to keep the limit at 80 players.
Tarvaris Jackson appeared on Sirius NFL Radio Tuesday and cleared the air concerning comments attributed to him saying that he requested a trade following the acquisition of Brett Favre. However, Jackson expressed some frustration that the competition he had to keep his starting job was effectively dismissed with the signing of Favre. Jackson said he has learned a lot from Favre, especially to simply be himself "regardless of the situation or circumstance," adding that those that disagree can "take it or leave it." It will be interesting how the QB competition between Jackson and Sage Rosenfels will be affected by the specter of Favre's return hanging over both of their heads.
The stadium debate is getting more personal and political all the time. St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman is urging all St. Paul legislators to oppose the Vikings stadium bill because, according to the mayor, the bill doesn't address the city's requests for a new ballpark for the St. Paul Saints or an additional ice rink next to the Xcel Energy Center. He added that the debt relief for Target Center would give that arena an unfair competitive advantage over the X. He adamantly stated that there shouldn't be a Vikings stadium deal that doesn't address the east metro, which seems from this vantage point as sour grapes. It didn't seem like St. Paul had such an issue of metro fairness when it was in the running for the new Twins stadium and the inclusion of hockey and baseball issues have little relevance in terms of the Vikings. The Saints are a nice diversion, but generate very little in tax revenue in comparison to the millions the Vikings players and staff pay in state income taxes every year. A new Vikings stadium would also potentially draw events like the Super Bowl, the NCAA basketball tournament and high-profile concerts and other attractions that would bring millions of dollars into the local economy, which pales in comparison to a low-rent independent baseball league or a practice rink for hockey.
The Vikings stadium proposal got its first legislative hearing Tuesday. The bill was discussed in the House Local Government Division Committee.
The language of the current stadium proposal would require the Vikings to sign a 40-year lease in the building, which, while long by most standards, is becoming a more common practice for public funding to assure that teams don't bolt after 10 years of playing in their new digs. It isn't ideal for the Vikings, but they are considering the proposal. The team has two years remaining on a 30-year lease at the Metrodome, which has long since been an obsolete stadium venue in terms of the revenue streams that can be generated.
California Rep. Henry Waxman could have an impact on the future of the NFL's drug policy, which currently is being tested by Pat Williams and Kevin Williams in the StarCaps case. Congressman Waxman is said to be introducing a bill that would give drug policies negotiated by national corporations the ability to override state laws concerning drug testing. While it clearly won't impact the Williamses' case, it could set a precedent for the league that will tighten the rules held by the NFL and eliminate the potential for a repeat of the StarCaps case from happening again.
VU would like to extend sympathies to the family of former Viking Nick Rogers, who died in a one-car crash in Georgia early Monday morning. Rogers, 30, who spent six years in the league playing for the Vikings, Packers, Colts and Dolphins had opened a barber shop and married his longtime girlfriend just last month.
At least one Minnesota business is trying to use Favre's situation to promote itself. A country radio station in St. Cloud has put up a billboard on a high-visibility street offering to give Favre a free station T-shirt if he returns for another season.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.