The Packers have done a good job talking to media sources (all on background, apparently) over the past 24 hours, telling their side of the story and, more important, making clear that they will not be releasing Brett Favre. Now, according to those reports, the Packers will consider trade offers for Favre but will not, it seems, look at offers from the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
I understand that you don’t want to make your division rivals stronger. And I agree that it would suck to give the Vikings the quarterback that could, under the right circumstances, take them deep into the playoffs.
But the Vikings and Bears are two teams most in need of a quarterback and, having been thrashed by Favre so many times over the years, are more familiar with Favre’s skills than anyone, and could be willing to make the most attractive offers. Several news outlets have reported mutual interest between Favre and the Vikings, something that might account for the language in Bus Cook’s letter to the Packers requesting an unconditional release.
It would be one thing for Favre to show up at Lambeau Field in purple on September 8 after such a release. But it would be quite another to see him there if the Packers had been able to pick up a couple of valuable draft picks along the way. If you look at the Vikings recent personnel moves, they have show a consistent willingness to overpay to get what they want.
They gave the Chiefs a first round pick and two third round picks for Jared Allen, who is much younger but much a very risky acquisition. They made Allen the third highest player in the NFL. They also signed Bernard Berrian, a speedy but relatively unproductive receiver, to a free agent contract that made him (at the time he signed it) the fourth highest-paid receiver in the NFL. Berrian’s career high in receiving yards came last year, when he had 951. That is crazy. But stranger still was the signing last year of Visanthe Shiancoe. The former New York Giant tight end was coming off a season in which he played in all 16 games (four starts) and had 12 catches for 81 yards. So the Vikings gave him a five-year deal worth almost $20 million. Insanity.
The Vikings believe they are poised to make a Super Bowl run. The missing ingredient is a quarterback. Their current one — Andy’s frequent tongue-baths notwithstanding — sucks. If they are desperate and offer, say, a first-round pick and a second-round pick, should the Packers disregard it? I can’t imagine they’d do that, but this is the same team that made Bernard Berrian the fourth highest-paid receiver in the league.
And if the Bears wanted to pay up for Favre that would cause me even less heartburn. That offense is a mess after the release of the 4th overall pick from 2005. They have an inconsistent offensive line and no real #1 wide receiver (former DB Devin Hester is pencilled in). An offer from the notoriously stingy Bears is less likely, in my view, but the Packers would be foolish not to consider one.
ESPN’s Bill Williamson handicaps the possibilities, here.