Could money be a motive for Favre's 'retirement' leaks?

Recently I wrote that Brett Favre would likely show up in Minneapolis -- not at the team's training camp in Mankato, Minn. -- on or about Aug. 23 to join his Vikings teammates in preparation for the third preseason game against the Seattle Seahawks. It's the only preseason week the Vikings actually put a game plan together, and the first team plays the first half of the game.

Cook: Nothing to do with money

Brett Favre's agent, Bus Cook, released a statement Wednesday, saying, "Brett's situation has nothing to do with his contract, but everything to do with his health." More ...

Favre could get reacquainted with his teammates, throw 15 to 20 passes in the game and get back to his preparation for the season opener against the New Orleans Saints. Despite reports that Favre is ready to retire, I still feel that is the real plan for 2010. But, of course, the story takes on more twists and turns than a roller coaster.

Or does it?

Favre has one year left on his contract at an unguaranteed $13 million. After leading his team to the NFC Championship Game with 33 touchdown passes and the highest completion percentage of his career he probably wants a multiyear deal with guaranteed money in it.

He recently said he could play until he was 50. Of course he didn't mean that, but it was a message that he -- or at least his agent, Bus Cook -- wants a longer-term commitment from the Vikings. I'm sure seeing Sam Bradford receive $50 million guaranteed without making a single throw in the NFL makes Favre wonder what he's worth. What if he had another great year and was out of contract for 2011?

This is Favre's last chance before he finally reports to make a case for more money or future money. Without him saying a word, no one can point at him directly and claim he's trying to manipulate the Vikings. He sees Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the last year of their deals and no real progress being made to extend either one, and both quarterbacks are significantly younger than Favre.

The Colts have already suggested they would use a franchise tag on Manning if they can't come to a long-term agreement, but no one knows if there will be franchise tags in the next CBA -- if there even is a CBA. Favre knows the Vikings are the best team he could play for and the best chance to extend his career and win a championship, but what if one of the elite quarterbacks was free in 2011 and also looked at the Vikings as the place to be?

Vikings coach Brad Childress stood in front of the media on Tuesday and said he hadn't heard from Favre on the retirement issue. I don't believe Favre would hang out his coach. I also don't believe the team should go to extraordinary measures contractually to get him into camp. But when he does get to work, the Vikings should consider sitting down with his agent and talking about 2011.

If there are franchise tags in a new CBA, Favre would receive a one-year deal worth more than $15 million, which would be guaranteed if he signed it. Or how about a deal that says if he plays for the Vikings in 2010 and throws more than 30 touchdown passes and the team gets to the NFC Championship Game, his 2011 contract would be guaranteed for $17 million?

Don't buy the idea he's calling it quits right now. A deal can be made when the time is right.

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