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Favre proves to be a football great

April 6, 2006

Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks in National Football League history. No matter which side of the Minnesota-Wisconsin border you grew up on, there is no denying that in his prime he was what Peyton Manning is to the NFL today (without the choke jobs).

Favre is poised to break many records this season, and is possibly one of the best two-minute-drill quarterbacks ever.

There is a problem in Green Bay, however. Once an athlete has accomplished so much in a career, it can only lead to one thing-retirement.

Favre has been weighing this question for the past three off seasons as to whether or not he would retire. Several experts had predicted that Favre would retire after the Packers blew a fourth and 24 play against the Philadelphia Eagles in a playoff game three years ago, but Favre came back.

Then came the glorious performance against the Minnesota Vikings in which Favre had one of the worst games of his career as he served up four interceptions. Favre had to retire after being embarrassed that bad by the team’s rival. But again, Favre came back.

Then came last season. Favre lost most of his top playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, the Packers crashed to a 4-12 record and Favre was benched twice to his apparent heir, Aaron Rodgers.

So that is where we are in “As the Brett Turns.” Will he or won’t he? Please come back. Please retire. What’s it going to be?

The media follows his every decision like a kid through a sprinkler, up, around and everywhere in between. Favre has hinted at this several times since the Packers’ season ended. In an interview with ESPN’s Chris Mortenson, Favre said he didn’t know yet if he was going to come back, but he was leaning toward it.

With that, the John Deere Cult known as Packer Nation went into a frenzy. Could it be that they were not going to have Brett Favre as their quarterback? The starting quarterback of the Packers was not going to wear number four?

Preposterous. That just can’t happen, can it?

So there was silence for a couple of months. Until last week when the Packers finally put their foot down. The message? Decide by this week or else.

The Packers would give Favre a $3 million roster bonus should he return. However, since Favre hasn’t made a decision, the Packers can’t give him the bonus only to have him retire. So Packers General Manager Ted Thompson gave Favre the ultimatum, which Favre ultimately scoffed at.

“If I don’t tell them by [April 1] what are they going to do? Cut me?” Favre said to reporters at a charity event. “There are 162 days until the beginning of the regular season, so I don’t think I’ll have an answer before [April 1].”

Favre didn’t make a decision and the Packers backed off, extending the deadline until mid-April and publicly saying they may do it again if Favre hasn’t reached a decision.

If I were in Ted Thompson’s shoes I would have handled things differently.

I figured a solution that would just end the controversy, and the Favre love fest once and for all. Now before every Packer fan starts doing angry back flips, and pointing out every reason why the Packers can’t cut Favre, I will back up my point. The Packers have a team to run, and they can’t wait until Sept. 1 for Favre to make a decision.

The Packers have free agents they’ve wanted to pick up but couldn’t because if Favre comes back his salary would count $9 million against the salary cap. That could have provided huge leverage in snagging Dallas Cowboys kicker Mike Vanderjagt, or former Washington Redskins linebacker LaVar Arrington if they had known that Favre was not going to come back.

Yet Favre still basks in the heat lamp known as the media and refuses to make a decision.

This is as much Thompson’s fault as it is Favre’s.

The Packers have tried to put their foot down on their issue but they refuse to stand and enforce their decision. They’re acting like they are the France Packers more than the Green Bay Packers. They want to give Favre as much time as possible so they don’t look like the guy who ran Favre out of Green Bay. They’re way too concerned about their image.

It also affects Aaron Rogers. As an NFL quarterback, they need to go through intense training to endure the season, as anything can happen. However, with Favre not saying anything about his decision, Rogers is left in the dark not knowing if he should get more familiar with the Packer Playbook or train like he will be the starter next season and not a clipboard-carrying backup.

The starting quarterback also has to develop a relationship with his teammates (see any receiver/quarterback duo in the NFL). Favre is hindering Rogers’ growth by delaying his decision constantly.

I will admit I am a Vikings fan and Favre leaving would be great for the scarred pride I have for the Vikes, but I’m looking at this in the best interest of the Green Bay Packers.

Favre wouldn’t be the best choice for your team in my eyes.

He is a great quarterback, he is very deadly within two minutes, but his time is up in.

It’s time for a changing of the guard and it’s time to get used to, “Starting for the Green Bay Packers at quarterback, #12 Aaron Rogers.”