Archive for July, 2008

Bucs Deal Closer?

July 26, 2008

It shouldn’t be any surprise to NFL fans who have watched Jon Gruden over the year’s that the man has no poker face.  Whatever he is feeling at any given moment is written across his face for everyone to see.

He is also very bad at subterfuge and evasion.  The Tampa Tribune’s Roy Cummings writes about Gruden’s latest comments on a potential Brett Favre trade.

Bucs coach Jon Gruden didn’t do much to quell the ever-growing belief that his team is out to work a deal for retired Packers quarterback Brett Favre.

Though he claimed Friday to have no knowledge of either trade talks between the Bucs and Packers or an OK by the Packers for the team to talk directly to Favre, Gruden would not say unequivocally that the Bucs have no interest in trading for Favre. And he was given plenty of opportunity.

During an 18-minute news conference, Gruden was asked 14 questions about Favre. He even was asked directly why he would not say the Bucs have no interest in trading for Favre if in fact they don’t. His answer only served to fuel the speculation that Favre will soon be a Buc.

“You could come out and say that we don’t have interest in Favre, but I’m never going to be a guy who puts his foot down and says we’re going to do this,” Gruden said. “It’s not my No. 1 responsibility.

“As I sit here today, Jeff Garcia is our No. 1 quarterback, and I’m very excited about that.”

As I sit here today?  Seriously?

And in what seemed to some to be an admission of interest, he seemingly tried to justify any decision the Bucs might have made or might eventually make to acquire Favre.

“We used three quarterbacks in ’02,” Gruden said. “We had our quarterback injured here in ’04, in ’05 and in ’06. We lost Luke McCown during the offseason program that year, and we lost our quarterback in ’07.

“So, for all the people who think I’m crazy for trying to put together a real good nucleus, I’m sorry. But the bottom line is, we have really been snake bit at that position.”

McCarthy Press Conference

July 26, 2008

Lots of interesting stuff.  Greg Bedard has highlights here.  I’ll post more chunks and link to the full transcript later.

Defensive Tackle for Favre?

July 26, 2008

Bob McGinn’s entire article on the increasingly grim outlook for the middle of the Packers’ defensive line is worth a read.  It’s entirely possible that despite all of the attention we’ve paid to the quarterback situation the major area of concern will end up being the defensive line.

In any case, this nugget, in connection with the Brett Favre trade talks, jumped out at me.

The cloud of uncertainty is the reason why a source said the Packers had been trying to acquire a defensive tackle in trade talks involving Brett Favre.

The two teams we’re talking to now — or at least the two teams we know we’re talking to — are not necessarily good candidates.  The Jet’s play a 3-4 defense and just acquired Kris Jenkins to fill the middle.  Bucs have Chris Hovan, among others, who is regularly in the running for Tool-of-the-Year award in the NFL.

NYC Papers on Favre-to-Jets Possibilities

July 26, 2008

Here, via Lori Nickel at JS Online, is the New York Daily News piece on a potential trade that would send Brett Favre to the New York Jets.

It started with a phone call from the Packers to the Jets, and it has mushroomed into the most tantalizing Jets story in years.

The two teams held preliminary trade discussions, covering potential draft-pick compensation and Favre’s contract status, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. During the conversation, the Packers suggested the Jets talk to Favre to gauge his interest in them, the person said.

As of late Friday, the Jets hadn’t contacted Favre, according to the person. Earlier in the day, ESPN reported the Jets had received permission to speak with Favre. The Packers reportedly are asking for a first-round draft pick, a steep price for a 38-year-old quarterback who delivered a tearful retirement speech in March and suddenly wants to play again.

And it sounds like Chad Pennington thinks the Jets may go after Favre:

After Friday’s practice at Hofstra, Tannenbaum took the unusual step of briefing Pennington and Clemens on the Favre speculation. Pennington, relating the conversation to reporters, made it sound like he had been told the team intends to pursue Favre.

“I didn’t ask him too many questions because I always look at it like this: ‘If that’s what you need to do, you go do it, period,'” Pennington said. “I told him, ‘Look, I’ll handle the situation, Mike. I know how to handle it. This isn’t my first rodeo.'”

Speculation

July 26, 2008

Here’s my guess. Brett Favre doesn’t want to play for the Jets. The Packers would prefer that he play for the Jets (they’re in the AFC) and they’re probably willing to offer the Jets some kind of discount.

What remains unclear is whether Favre would play for Tampa Bay. Given all of the reporting out there about his dealings with the Vikings, it seems likely that Favre thought he could return to the NFL and force the Packers to release him. They didn’t and won’t. So now he’s weighing the benefits of playing somewhere else — Tampa — against just staying retired.

Tom Silverstein reports that sources close to Favre are saying he still wants to play for the Packers. I don’t doubt that they’re saying that, but I doubt that it’s true. Think about what Favre has said about Ted Thompson and the way he mocked even Mike McCarthy in his interview on Fox. There are some pretty strong feelings there.

If I had to guess — okay, I don’t have to guess, but I will anyway — I will say Favre ends up in Tampa for a something like a conditional 2nd round pick and a 4th round pick. The 2nd round pick could become a first-round pick depending on Favre’s performace.

UPDATE: Oh, and this is even more worthless than everything I just posted above — I bet Jay Glazer breaks the story.

Jets Talking to Packers, Too

July 26, 2008

Here is Eric Mangini’s non-denial denial on the Favre matter, via Jason Wilde.

“With all those discussions, those things are internal and that really hasn’t changed,” Mangini said. “(Jets GM) Mike (Tannenbaum) and I talk every single night about a lot of things but, like I said, we keep those things internal.”

Asked if he was outright denying the report, Mangini replied, “What I said is where really where I’m at, which is we talk about a lot of different things and all those things are between Mike and I and organizationally we keep them inside. I hope you guys can respect that. I understand that you have to ask the questions, but I hope you understand where I’m at on it.”

Packers Seeking First-Round Pick

July 26, 2008

That’s what ESPN’s Michael Smith is reporting.  Should be an interesting 48 hours.

Bucs Obviously Interested in Favre

July 26, 2008

That’s the only conclusion to reach from Jon Gruden’s comments to various newspapers today.  Hilarious.

“I’m never going to be a guy who puts his foot down and says we’re going to do this. But as I sit here today, Jeff Garcia is our quarterback,” Gruden said. “I don’t know what Green Bay is doing; I don’t know what Brett Favre is doing and my cell phone proves that.

“You’re talking about one of the great quarterbacks, and last time I checked he was a Green Bay Packer. And he probably will be to the end of his career.’’

Translation: I’m very interested in Brett Favre.  “As I sit here today, Jeff Garcia is our quarterback.”  Yeah, but as he sits there the day they sign Favre the Brett Favre is their quarterback.  “The last time I checked he was a  Green Bay Packer.”  Of course.  Favre is techically a Packer but he won’t be once the Bucs sign him.

And:

“I don’t have anything to report other than we haven’t had any trade talks to my knowledge,” Gruden said.

“Brett Favre is under contract, my last understanding, with the Green Bay Packers. We’re excited about our quarterbacks. I don’t know how many quarterbacks we can use at this point.”

Bottom line: If the Bucs were not interested in Brett Favre there are dozens of way to say so.  Like: “We have no interest in Brett Favre.  It’s more likely that Troy Williamson catches 50 passes this year than that Favre is a Buc this year.”

Gruden didn’t say anything.

Glazer: Bucs Can Talk to Favre, Too

July 25, 2008

Here.  Does he want to talk to them?

Jsonline also reporting Favre to camp

July 25, 2008

Jsonline is also reporting that a source indicates Favre is planning to come to camp for the Packers and that he will be signing his reinstatement papers. The thought by Tom Silverstein apparently is that Favre either is pushing this whole thing further so he can be traded or that Favre may just want to return to the Packers and be accepting of the stated order of QBs (Rodgers #1). I continue to be surprised by how this is all playing out, but maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by anything anymore.

I have a hard time picturing Favre on the sidelines for the Packers. It would be very awkward to have Rodgers running around out there starting when Favre’s healthy – especially in light of the year Favre had last year. What if Favre outperforms Rodgers in camp? What if he works harder than in the past and demonstrates a commitment to the team? What if Rodgers tweaks a hammy? What if McCarthy eventually believes Favre should be the starter but TT won’t allow it? Too many questions. Too ugly.

As much as it seemed impossible to me a few months ago, it almost seems more likely at this point that Favre will be playing in another uniform come September. And it wouldn’t surprise me if he plays really well considering his tendency to thrive in adverse situations.

Stay tuned…


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