Brett Favre has surprised me for the past two years. Last year, I was surprised he decided to come out of retirement and play for the New York Jets. Now I’m surprised that he is remaining retired rather than playing for the Minnesota Vikings. I’m not saying it’s a bad decision: Favre’s legacy was sure to take a hit if his performance was closer to his run as Jets’ quarterback than his last season with the Green Bay Packers. He’s no spring chicken.
Yet with a better running game, better defense, better backup quarterback, and an offense more similar to what Favre ran in Green Bay, the Vikings had to have been an enticing opportunity. When he was still considering it this late in the game, I figured yes was a likely answer. Favre’s last two seasons ended in disappointment: an overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl winners in the NFC Championship and falling short of the playoffs last year.
Even that disappointing season with the Jets has to be put in perspective. Favre threw his first six-touchdown game, was the first to defeat the Tennessee Titans, overcame one of Matt Cassel’s best performances in New England, and led the team to 8-3 before tearing a bicep in his throwing arm. Favre still finished the season by taking a team that had gone 4-12 the previous season to a 9-7 record, eliminated from the playoffs only in the final game of the season.
Unfortunately, Favre’s will-he-or-won’t-he spectacles between seasons was increasingly detracting from his legacy on the field. The longtime franchise quarterback was starting to look bitter and less like a team player. He has created a quarterback controversy on the Vikings only to tell the team he won’t be playing 36 hours before training camp, leaving them to pick up the pieces. It’s the third franchise he’s held for ransom in two years.
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