Context for Favre “bribe” debate


Credit to verno329 and Donald’s Designated Driver for continuing to take me to task on the question of whether or not Mark Murphy’s gesture was truly a bribe. Several strong arguments – read their comments on previous posts. Their contention is that it’s not a bribe mostly because the offer apparently is one that had first been made back in March by Mark Murphy as a way to keep Favre connected to the team (and also hopefully keep him retired). Which back then, as they point out, was mostly a good faith gesture by the team. It seems at least some of the info verno and DDD used to bolster their argument came from this morning’s Tom Silverstein article at jsonline (correct me if I’m wrong guys). Read this article as it does shed light on the whole situation and to some extent makes Mark Murphy look less shady and quite possibly, not shady at all. Another argument for you guys here is that Favre actually acknowledged Murphy’s effort for trying to work this out. If this were a pure bribe, my guess is Favre would be pissed they tried to bribe him when he’s made it very clear he just wants to play (though again, perhaps Favre is moved by money more than many of us suspect).

But I still think there is an important question here of timing. Murphy’s apparent explanation for the timing is that because the talks had reached an impasse, he thought he’d go back to the original idea of offering this again to Favre in hopes of keeping him connected to the organization – even if he does decide to play more. Again, not a bad explanation, and if nothing had happened between Favre and the Packers in the last few months and Murphy were to have simply re-offered this, I wouldn’t probably call it a bribe. But Murphy and others cannot ignore the events of the last few months that have been at the core of this whole controversy. The fact is, Favre wanted to return and the Packers have been doing everything they can to not let this happen. Given that background, this offer by Murphy now cannot be considered a 100%, magnanimous, goodwill gesture. Time and circumstances have changed this situation significantly. It would be impossible to deny that at least part of (and I would argue most of) Murphy’s intention in doing this now was to keep Favre retired. That’s why I don’t think calling it a bribe of sorts is unreasonable. In fact, I could see this offer having two different labels over time. In March, it was a somewhat genuine/I’ll even say goodwill offer to keep Favre connected to the team (though again, Silverstein notes it was also done at that time with the hope of keeping Favre retired). The Thursday offer, while it may still have had some of those more innocent/goodwill qualities associated with it, due to the timing and all that’s happened between Favre and the front office, I think smells stronger of a bribe.

STEVE ADDS: Tom Silverstein writes that “there were only occasional talks about it between March and June before Favre started making noise about wanting to return to football.”  But according to his own newspaper, Favre was making noise about wanting to return to football in March.

9 Responses to “Context for Favre “bribe” debate”

  1. Aaron Says:

    It’s a damn bribe. Please. Murphy heads down there on the eve of Favre reporting and all of the sudden, lo and behold, a ‘source’ is saying the offer was on the table in March? I don’t trust anyone anymore…

  2. Ron La Canne Says:

    Silversteen has no clue. He has never been a Packer insider. When I hear it from Mc Ginn , I’ll give it credence, not before. Regardless, the Murphy offer this week is just one of a number of issues on the burnner that make Packer Mgt, look foolish. I really don’t think they are. I still say there is something else going on and as a resuilt Packer Mgt. may be stuck because they don’t want to dump on a guy that played so well for so long. That may be wishful thinking, but I can’t believe an offer like that would occur knowing that it would look so pathetic.

    I hope!

  3. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    According to ESPN, both sides agree the offer was on the table since March. That’s not in dispute.

    The offer was not necessarily intends to induce him to stay retired. It could have been a good will gesture intended to remind Favre that when he does retire, he might still want to be connected to the organization.

    Up until Murphy’s visit, Camp Favre was not cooperating at all. In other words, the deal could have been an attempt to say “Hey Brett, let’s play nice here and find a mutually agreeable solution (be it a trade to the Jets or whatever). Let’s not burn our bridges because going forward in the future we hope that you will come home and be a fixture in our organization….”

    Again, no body know. But there are other interpretations besides “its a bribe.”

  4. Donald's Designated Driver Says:

    RLC: I completely agree with this. There is a lot going on here that we don’t know about and that we will never know about because the Packers are not going to air all of the dirty laundry no matter how much mud Camp Favre slings.

  5. BratsNBeerGuy Says:

    The timing did make it look suspicious, also Murphy or someone should have been more proactive in getting in front of the story when the original WTMJ story came out instead of letting it spread.

  6. verno329 Says:

    Can’t argue that the timing makes it look sleazy but Brett hasn’t exactly been a fountain of truth and class since mid-June either. Nothing changes the fact that both sides have behaved very poorly throughout all this. And how weird would it be to have someone being your ambassador of sorts after he has called the GM a liar on multiple occasions, and then said that if he can’t play from GB he wants to go somewhere in the division to stick it to them? Nothing makes sense anymore. Up is down, left is right, black is white, cats and dogs living together, its mass hysteria!

  7. Ron La Canne Says:

    Steve, I guess that sums up Silversteen’s credibility, Half his stuff is made up. Why? To embelish his credentials to a really bad MJS Sports page. Don’t forget they employed that idiot, Dave Begel, for years. ESPN? Sports version of MSNBC.

  8. PackerBelle Says:

    “But according to his own newspaper, Favre was making noise about wanting to return to football in March.”

    I agree. However, Favre made his noise in late March and late June. There was plenty of time between March 3 and the end of March for them to have broached this. Similarly there was plenty of time between April 1st when he said he was staying retired and June 20th when he talked to Mike McCarthy about coming back to talk about it.

  9. ja Says:

    Re: 2, McGinn has credibility? Barely a week after he fabricated that phony team-issued cell phone story which was publicly refuted by both Favre and Thompson?

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