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Brett Favre, you like the offseason spotlight, don’t you? Brett Favre’s desire to come back from retirement (Golf isn’t that good, I guess) has immediately taken precedence over any of the current NFL news. I think it’s safe to say that the guy who looked not so spectacular for a few years until last year could ride off to into the sunset and be guaranteed a solid place in the NFL’s history. But, it’s obvious that’s not why Brett wants to come out of retirement. As for whether he should or not, that’s the subject of this article. Personally, I think Brett has good reason to do so.
Much like Roger Clemens’ many returns, Favre wants to come back at an age that is much above the average age of a player in his league. Physically, we even have similarities of minor injuries in some of their final seasons. But the difference between Favre and Clemens is that Clemens was finally forced away from the game by not performing well anymore.
Favre seemed to be headed that way until this season, when having solid offensive options around him rejuvenated his game and led to one of his best seasons in the past five years. Since he can still perform, certainly Favre coming back would not be an old star looking for a cheap way to win a Super Bowl ring. Favre is obviously a QB in the top half of the league performance-wise.
Many people are going to argue that he has created a media circus and shouldn’t come back because he obviously wants the attention. Really, that’s their argument, as if he’s done something to harm the integrity of the game by deciding he wants to play again. Of course he’s going to want the attention, the more prominent he is, the more money he can get from advertising deals. Are we to fault an older player for not being able to decide whether he wants to come back?
Obviously, the grind of the season is much more stressful to Brett now than it was 8-10 years ago and at the end of the season he thought it was too much. Many athletes find that once their career is over, they are lost and often don’t have another job they can find for themselves. So obviously, some combination of Brett healing up and feeling much better than he expected and the bleakness of not having a regular job to go to weighed in on his mind.
Another argument that people have made is that Brett is putting the Packers at a disadvantage by trying to come back. The Packers committed to Aaron Rodgers as their starting QB when Brett announced his retirement. They’ve even made it clear to Brett that that was the case. However, the Packers can trade Favre and receive some value in return for doing so. Considering Brett’s talent, they should even be able to find suitors in the AFC, and if not, certainly outside of the NFC North.
Furthermore, Brett’s responsibility as a member of the players union is not to answer to the team and their every wish. He could choose to do so if he felt it would improve the chances of the team winning the Super Bowl. However, given that he’s been a starter for well over 15 years and with how he performed last year, it’s hard to see the alpha dog personality in Brett being able to sit on the bench and watch Aaron Rodgers learn the Green Bay offense.
Now that the NFL has reinstated Favre, the Packers have a couple options. They’ve already offered him $20 million to stay retired. They could let him compete for the starting QB job with Aaron Rodgers, or they could trade him. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has reported that the Packers have contacted the Vikings (yes, an NFC North team) about a possible trade including Brett Favre.
So given that Brett can still perform as an above-average quarterback, he will get some value for his team in return and he did not truly do this out of a desire for more attention, I think it’s safe to say Brett Favre should return on his own terms.