Favre’s in control – here’s why


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.


12 Responses to “Favre’s in control – here’s why”

  1. PackerBelle Says:

    “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.”

    I disagree that it would be an enormous financial burden given that they are over $30 million under the cap. Nor do I think keeping him is going to do that much worse emotional damage than trading him or releasing him. If they let him go you will have some people who are ticked because he was let go and if you keep him you will have tension as Rodgers starts. It’s going to happen either way.

    And I see Ted Thompson as being stubborn enough to not give into Favre and call Favre’s bluff. Do you really think Favre will report to training camp as a back-up in two weeks? I doubt his ego would let him do that.

  2. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    This whole article is based on the false premise that the Packers are even considering trading Favre to a team he doesn’t want to go to. The facts suggest that the Packers are willing to work with him to find a destination that both sides can live with.

  3. Mac G Says:

    This is going to end badly. When did Aaron Rodgers become the next Steve Young? I can get over Favre’s indecision about retiring but I will never get over Favre playing for another team and Rodgers struggling.

  4. ja Says:

    That’s another misconception commonly reported by the media–that Favre is welcome to return only as a backup. Thompson told Tom Pelissero of the GBPG that was taken out of context (see link).

    I agree that neither Favre nor TT is blameless in this situation, but the media’s shoddy reporting of this thing has made it a whole lot uglier.

  5. sfhayes Says:

    JA — I’m happy to blame the media for shoddy reporting. But I don’t think Pelissero’s distinction is an important one. (One correction to your post: Thompson didn’t tell Pelissero’s his comments had been taken out of context, Pelissero simply wrote that.)

    Pelissero thinks it’s important that the Packers did not say they’d only welcome Favre back as a backup, but said that he would not be welcomed back as the starter.

    Even taken literally I don’ think this is an important difference. And consider the context. Packer CEO Mark Murphy has said the Packers took Favre’s retirement press conference seriously and decided to move forward as an organization without him. Others have said much the same thing. And Favre says that McCarthy told him directly that he would not be playing for the Packers. As I’ve pointed out ad nauseum, I don’t think Favre has much credibility these days. But at various times the Packers have said (or strongly implied) the same.

  6. Dave in Tucson Says:

    A contrary view. Favre’s games in 2007 fall into two very different categories:

    “Good Brett”: When his completion rate was above 62%, he threw 31 TDs and 7 INTs. In these games, the Packers went 12-1 (week 5 vs Chicago is the only loss in this category).

    “Bad Brett”: When his completion rate was below 55%, he threw 2 TDs and 9 INTs. In these games, the Packers were 2-3 (the two wins vs Philadelphia and Washington came thanks to the Defense and Special teams).

    Note that there are no “in between” games. Any team that’s thinking about signing him has to wonder how many “Bad Brett” games their going to get if they sign him.

    Any cold-weather teams (like the Bills?) who are interested will want to note that 3 of the “Bad Brett” games were in poor weather: rain (week 5 vs Washington), wind (week 16 @ Chicago), and extreme cold (NFCCG vs NYG).


  7. awhayes Says:

    Ja – I agree with you. I think the swirling rumors and hasty reporting has indeed complicated this a bit (but I would argue that is mostly because the Pack nor Favre have been very forthcoming re this. But I encourage you to read a post put up on 7/12 re John Clayton’s discussion with Ted Thompson in which TT said Favre is welcome back and not necessarily as the back-up. I think there have been times when both Favre and the team have just chosen words poorly leading to massive reading between the lines by fans. This is a good example of that – what could TT have meant by this, that Favre might help out on special teams? Kick?

  8. ja Says:

    I agree that TT was being coy with his “scenery has changed” and “there may be a different role” comments. Although he did not say Brett would have to be a backup, he probably knew that the media would report it that way.

    But if the Packers took Favre’s retirement seriously and decided to move forward without him, as Murphy claims, why did TT visit Favre in May? After the draft? I find it disappointing to see that the team wasn’t better prepared for the recent developments and now to claim they’ve “moved on” I guess by way of giving Rodgers a few extra snaps in mini-camps.

    Ultimately, I don’t think this is even about Brett Favre or Ted Thompson, but rather about Aaron Rodgers as the QB of the future. The enthusiasm anyone has for Favre’s return to the team is inversely proportional to how well he/she projects Rodgers to perform in 2008 and beyond. And I wonder whether TT’s apparent overconfidence in Rodgers is really in the best interests of the team.

  9. PackerBelle Says:

    “Any cold-weather teams (like the Bills?) who are interested will want to note that 3 of the “Bad Brett” games were in poor weather: rain (week 5 vs Washington), wind (week 16 @ Chicago), and extreme cold (NFCCG vs NYG).”

    I agree. Favre looked miserable in the cold weather games. I just don’t see there being much of a market for him. Aside from the fact that he would play for one, maybe two years, he also has been fairly inconsistent the past few years – especially in big games. I don’t think that is all Favre’s fault but it may affect people’s willingness to trade for him.

    I guess I’m still hoping that TT will tell Favre if he wants to play to report to training camp and Favre’s ego won’t be able to handle being the back up and he decides to just retire.

  10. Trav Says:

    wow….lots of posting that I need to catch up on.

    My employer has restricted this site (and many others) on our company internet connection. I feel like it is extra punishment as the situation is unfolding throughout the day, but yet I have no access to read about it. It’s as if I can’t remember how I used to function prior to the internet. They used some corporate-speak about “increasing productivity” and “better use of company resources”. Someone responded to the message asking when the corporate headquarters moved from Florida to the People’s Republic of China based on this web filtering.

  11. Joe Says:

    “what could TT have meant by this, that Favre might help out on special teams? Kick”

    I think it means that if Brett comes back – its and open competition. And I don’t think it is a gaurentee that Brett beats out Rodgers. The offense has been changed to fit Rodgers and I am guessing that they would not change it back for the competition.

  12. awhayes Says:

    Joe – good thought, though if it is an open competition, this is very different than the other apparent statements TT has made re the Pack offering the back-up position to Favre. I think an open competition, in fact, may not be a bad solution to this.

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