For most of the population, the seventh month on the calendar is typically filled with fireworks, hot weather, heading to the cabin or beach, and grilling out. For me, that also includes a birthday (the 25th), but you know what I’m talking about—July is full of normal summer activities.
And slowly but surely, it’s become the annual start to the Brett Favre will-he-or-won’t-he come back to the NFL discussion. Yes, Brett Favre is now a regular contributor to your July NFL news.
To be fair, the first round of Favre discussion started this June when he told the Biloxi Sun Herald that he “can still throw the ball as well as I ever have.” By now, we all should know that everything Brett says to the national media has a purpose, even if he also told the Herald that he’s “been beat up enough.” But whether he wanted the press to eat up that first comment is beyond the point.
If Brett Lorenzo Favre wants to play a 21st NFL season in 2011, he’ll likely have options to do just that.
Now, before we get ahead of ourselves with that statement, let’s be reminded that Brett’s family is on record saying he will stay retired. Scott, Brett’s brother, said “there was less than a 1% chance (he would return),” and Favre’s mother, Bonita, said “he is crazy if he does (return).”
It’d be hard to disagree with either of those statements. I still think that the chances remain very, very low that Favre every plays again in the NFL, and, after last season’s horror show in Minnesota, he probably would be crazy to return.
But if we know anything about Brett Favre, it’s that if there’s a will, there’s a way. His brother Scott gives him less than a 1% chance? That’s plenty for ole No. 4. No one has had a harder time walking away from the game than Favre.
So, what if that 1% chance comes to fruition? What are Favre’s hypothetical options to make another comeback? Let’s run them down.
Option 1: Hook on with a quarterback-needy team
The lockout hasn’t allowed free agency or trading, so most teams that have a need at quarterback won’t necessary have that same void once the regular season starts. However, you’d have to believe that there will be a few franchises that could use a veteran quarterback when the flurry of transactions comes to an end.
The Panthers make some sense, as Favre’s agent Bus Cook also represents Carolina’s No. 1 overall pick Cameron Newton. Cook told The Sporting News that Favre is open to mentoring Newton and that the two have “already met and talked.” In addition, the lockout has taken away time from Newton getting acclimated to the NFL game, which could prevent the Panthers from starting him right away. But even with that connection and perceived need, it’s hard to picture Favre willingly playing for a team that lost 14 games last season and who does not realistically have a chance to win more than a handful of games next season, much less a Super Bowl.
Other teams that need help at quarterback include (but not limited to) the Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings, Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers. While only the Vikings have a solid connection with Favre, Arizona might be a team that throws around his name if they’re unable to acquire a quarterback following the lockout. You’d have to at least think about what Favre could do with Larry Fitzgerald after seeing what he accomplished in 2009 with 16 games of Sidney Rice. It’s a long shot to be sure, but why wouldn’t the Cardinals chew on the idea?
I’d be willing to bet that there is at least some kind of dialogue between Favre and a team in need of a quarterback in the next few months. It doesn’t even have to be serious, but teams will throw around the concept.
Option No. 2: Follow the coaching connection
As important as having a need at quarterback is to the situation, the offensive system and coaches might actually be the biggest factor.
Immediately then, the Seattle Seahawks become a potential landing spot. Their quarterback situation is far from sorted out, and, wouldn’t you know it, that Darrell Bevell guy is the Seahawks new offensive coordinator. They had their differences in Minnesota last season, but they obviously worked well together in 2009 and have a long history together. Bevell was an offensive assistant in Green Bay from 2000-2002 and then quarterbacks coach from 03′-’05. Favre could come in fresh off his tractor and know the offense like the back of his hand.
Still, Seattle remains a long shot. Plenty of things would have to go right this offseason—like Matt Hasselbeck going elsewhere—for Favre to even be under consideration. But if things did fall into place, and coach Pete Carroll made the call to Favre in Mississippi, you’d have to think he’d consider it.
Another connection would be in Cleveland with Mike Holmgren, but that’s even more unlikely than Seattle with Colt McCoy on board. It could be a remote possibility if No. 3 (below) unfolded with the Browns, however.
Option No. 3: Wait it out
I think this may be the best choice for Favre and the most likely scenario in which he came back to the NFL. Look—Favre is burnt out and likely still hurting from the beating he took last year. He might not have that itch to play right now, and who would blame him? 2010 was probably the worst season of his career both statistically and medically.
Something also tells me that calls from the Panthers, Cardinals or Seahawks wouldn’t exactly give Favre the kind of motivation to come back that he likely needs. How would those situations be markedly different than what he went through last year?
With that in mind, let’s say Favre sticks to his guns about staying retired to start the 2011 NFL season. But then, however, let’s say Ben Roethlisberger tears up his knee or Drew Brees’ surgically repaired shoulder goes out early on in the season.
Wouldn’t Favre jump at the opportunity to play for a Super Bowl quality team again? And wouldn’t there at least be some mutual interest for one of those teams if that scenario unfolded?
Sure, the Steelers could get by with Byron Leftwich or Charlie Batch, but the Super Bowl dreams in 2011 just about die if Roethlisberger is lost for the year. And are the Saints really going to turn to Chase Daniel for the majority of a season if Brees gets hurt? That’s season-suicide.
Despite what anyone thinks about Favre, if you put him on those teams you at least give yourself a chance to salvage your season. The same could be said for a number of playoff-caliber teams.
But this of course entails that a quarterback on one of those teams would need to go down long-term. The chances of that, even in the NFL, are fairly slim. Yet if Favre eventually got the itch—and he almost certainly will—I can’t imagine a better or more enticing situation for him to make another return.
That still leaves a lot of things that need to happen between now and then, and it’s why I think his brother Scott is probably right on with his prediction. My scenario’s probably all collectively have less than a 1% chance of unfolding.
But there’s no doubt that we’ve seen crazier things happen in regards to Brett Favre. Even his own brother protected his own ass by saying there’s still a minuscule chance of Favre playing.
And it’s like Lloyd said to Mary after she told him his chances were 1-in-a-million in Dumb and Dumber:
“So, you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
That might be all Brett Favre needs to play another season in the NFL.——————
Zach Kruse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with a passion for the Green Bay Packers. He currently lives in Wisconsin and is working on his journalism degree, while also covering prep sports for The Dunn Co. News.
You can read more of Zach's Packers articles on AllGreenBayPackers.com.Follow @zachkruse2