For those who haven’t yet learned why Favre essentially controls his own destiny by forcing hand here, following is a quality explanation provided by the NFL Network:
A rare talent, Packers quarterback Brett Favre now holds a rare distinction. Without having an official no-trade clause in his contract, Favre has a no-trade clause. If the Packers agree to trade Favre to any team, the quarterback can veto the deal simply by declining to report. Then Favre’s rights would revert back to Green Bay, which would be forced to take him back along with his $12 million base salary — or release him. To carry’s Favre salary, and all the distractions that came along with it, would be an enormous financial and emotional burden for the Packers. Thus Green Bay would have to commit to keeping Favre or to trade him. But unless it is a team that appeals to Favre then the Packers quarterback can continue vetoing deals until he has a satisfactory new home. Basically, if Favre unretires he gets to play where he wants. – NFL Network
My question for any experts out there would be what happens if the team sends Favre to Miami say for Jason Taylor, and Favre refuses to report – do the Packers get to keep Taylor or would the whole deal then be nullified? I would think the latter, but I guess I’m not sure how these things work out. Any thoughts?
STEVE WRITES: I’m no expert — something that’s clear from pretty much everything I write — but I’m certain that the entire deal would void. Any trade partner is well aware of Favre’s issues and if there aren’t protections built in to such a deal — I believe there are — would be sure to add them.
Further, I’m not sure I buy the broader argument that Favre holds all the cards here. He can get paid, but he can’t make the Packers put him on the field or allow someone else to put him on the field. If he really wants to scratch his itch, then he’ll have to go wherever the Packers send him.
I still think the Packers’ claim that they’d welcome back Favre as a backup is a stupid one. Whatever they might gain in trade leverage they are losing in good will. For people just following this from afar — and for a sizable number of Packer fans — it just makes the Packers look like they’re not serious about these discussions.
STEVE ADDS: Be sure to check out the rest of the column by NFL Network’s Adam Schefter. I think he’s incorrect when he says that Favre holds all the cards, but I think that he’s dead right when he argues that the trade market is not a good one for the Packers. Among other reasons, it’s why I think the Packers ought to at least check in with Minnesota and Chicago about what they’d give up for Favre. If Bus Cook is smart — and sneaky, since such discussions would be against the rules — he’s trying right now to determine how much the Vikings would give up for Favre. There has to be a point at which Thompson and company consider that. What if these are the options: A) keep a bitter Favre on the roster for $12 million, B) release him unconditionally and allow him to go to the Vikings, C) trade him for a conditional 7th round pick to the Dolphins (where Favre would not report), or D) trade him to the Vikings for a first and third round pick next year. I’d be eager to see Favre in purple and yellow. Unlikely? Sure. Crazy? Far from it.