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|Brett Favre will likely never be teammates with Brian Urlacher in Chicago. But which teams could work out a trade for the future Hall-of-Fame QB?|
No question in football, or sports, is more compelling than where quarterback Brett Favre will spend this season.
Nobody, including Favre or the Packers, knows the actual answer right now. But guesses still abound.
More and more, it seems as if the two most likely outcomes are that Favre will spend this season playing for Green Bay or remain retired in Mississippi.
But he has not made any decisions about what he will do or even if he will notify the NFL and Packers that he wants to be reinstated.
"Thereâs no set deadline for us to file for reinstatement,â Favreâs agent, Bus Cook, said during a brief telephone conversation Wednesday. "We have no definitive plans to file those papers. We have until the sixth week of the season to do that. Thatâs not to say we wouldnât do it sooner. But right now we have no timeline to file any papers.â
Should Cook and Favre file those papers, the process would be underway to continue the quarterbackâs career. The question is, Where?
Green Bay makes the most sense from both perspectives. Green Bay cannot run off the most popular player in team history and expect to emerge unscathed amongst its fan base.
And itâs not as if Favreâs skills showed decline last season. He led the Packers to the NFC Championship Game. The Packers' most logical solution â- bringing back Favre -â is a solid solution.
So what if Aaron Rodgers is unhappy? He has two years remaining on his contract and if he proves this or next season he is worth keeping, the Packers always can slap their franchise tag on him, ensuring he will be in Green Bay for at least the next three seasons.
Yet at any moment, another team could jump into the fray and turn the story, and this season, upside down with a trade offer that interests the Packers and an opportunity that excites Favre.
The chances of it happening seem remote, but once, so did the idea that Favre would finish his career in another city.
Of all the teams linked to Favre â who is spending the rest of this week in Los Angeles, at the ESPYâs -- some have legitimacy, some donât. Here, by conference, on the basis of talks with leaguewide executives, is a breakdown.
»NEW YORK JETS -â Living in New York couldnât be any more different than living in Mississippi. In his Wranglers, Favre is not exactly a New York kind of guy. But the Jets sure could use him. They have fortified their offensive line, improved their defense and need only a bonafide quarterback to be viewed as a contender. Problem is, theyâd have to convince Favre to come to the big city, and that would not be an easy sell.
»BUFFALO BILLS -â In a way, Buffalo is like Green Bay. Small market, passionate fans, cold weather. Buffalo has assembled a playoff-caliber roster and a Hall-of-Fame caliber quarterback would improve its chances. Issue is, Buffalo has started down a road with second-year quarterback Trent Edwards and appears committed to him for now.
»BALTIMORE RAVENS -â Despite rampant speculation to the contrary, Baltmore does not seem to be interested in Favre and he does not seem to be interestd in the Ravens. Like the Bills and Packers, the Ravens have committed to a different direction than a proven veteran quarterback. Additionally, the Ravens have little salary-cap room left. It would be exceedingly difficult for the team to carve out additional room to make way for Favre.
»HOUSTON TEXANS -â Rarely mentioned in connection to Favre, the Texans might make the most sense of any AFC team. Their offense most closely resembles the Packersâ. It has West-Coast elements, downhill blocking schemes, and even Favreâs former running back Ahman Green. Favreâs former head coach Mike Sherman left his mark on Houstonâs offense. However, Houston has invested considerable money, time and draft picks in its incumbent, Matt Schaub. And Houston is scheduled to play at Lambeau Field, Dec. 7.
»MIAMI DOLPHINS -â Favre wants to win another Super Bowl and the Dolphins appear further from that goal than most teams. However, nobody has turned around teams faster than Miamiâs executive vice president/football operations, Bill Parcells. Yet not even Parcellsâ presence is enough to lure Favre to South Beach.
|Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images|
|The Redskins are happy to have Jason Campbell as their starting quarterback.|
»WASHINGTON REDSKINS â- Former Packers coach Vince Lombardi once finished his career in Washington; Favre will not do the same. Though teams are prohibited from commenting on specific players, the Redskins are committed to Jason Campbell, who recently went fishing on Favreâs property. Campbellâs backups are Todd Collins and rookie Colt Brennan. None is Favre. But the Redskins, once the home of all big names, have shied away from them this offseason. They have no intention of pursuing or trading for Favre, not with the quarterbacks on their roster.
»MINNESOTA VIKINGS â- For starters, it is impossible to envision a scenario in which the Packers would allow Favre to play in the NFC North, be it for the Vikings, Bears or Lions. Itâs hard enough to envision the Packers allowing Favre to play for any NFC team, period. But an NFC North team is beyond blasphemous. There is too much bad blood between the two teams and for Favre to go to the Vikings, even with the bitterness building between he and Ted Thompson, would take chutzpah. As much as Minnesota could use Favre, the idea of him landing there is nothing more than fantasy football.
»CHICAGO BEARS â- Ditto.
»CAROLINA PANTHERS â- Not far from Mississippi, a team that could be on the rise, Carolina might appeal greatly to Favre. Problem is Carolina is scheduled to play at Green Bay Nov. 30, and there is no way the Packers will allow Favre to return to Lambeau Field in another teamâs uniform. No way. Any team on Green Bayâs schedule this season is unofficially eliminated.
»TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS -- First and formeost: Buccaneers general manager Bruce Allen did not have dinner at a Tampa steakhouse this week with Favre, as was reported by TV stations in the area. Allen was with Todd France, the agent for Buccaneers first-round pick, Aqib Talib. And last anyone checked, France could not and should not be confused with Favre. But then there is other evidence why a Favre-Bucs union would not work. As if it werenât enough that Tampa made the playoffs last season, it also is scheduled to play Green Bay this season. Green Bay plays Tampa Bay Sept. 28, and the last thing the Packers want to do is play Favre in the regular season, with the chance they could meet him again in the postseason. Plus, Tampaâs offense is not a simple one to learn. Despite the fact that Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden would trade years off his life to work with a legendary quarterback such as Favre again (he was an assistant in Green Bay for three seasons in the early 1990s), it is hard to imagine Green Bay trading its quarterback in the conference. Favre won't be eating in Tampa's steakhouses anytime soon.
No team above leaps out above any other. No teams can be deemed a legitimate suitor. All of which points back to only two options:
Green Bay or Mississippi.