Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Brett Favre has created a media storm by hinting he might want to return to the Packers for another season.

Dan Pompei feels that the Packers should welcome him back with open arms.

I'm not surprised Brett Favre wants to play football again now that the smell of training camp is in the air.

I am surprised the Packers are not welcoming him back.

Favre retired from the Packers and the NFL in March. The Packers have spent the offseason preparing their team around Aaron Rodgers. Just because he helped nearly lead the Pack to the Super Bowl last year does not mean they should roll out the red carpet, stike up the band and carry him on their shoulders back into the Packers facility.

But how in the world could the Packers not be interested in a player who:
A. Was the sixth best player at his position in the NFL a year ago, according to the NFL's passer rating system.

Brett Favre turns 39 this year. While that is not ancient, it typically is for a football player. Farve had a tremendous year in 2007, but he is past the age when most QBs start declining performance-wise. He may have been 6th last year, but he was 25th in 2006 and 31st in 2005. We are only two years removed from when Green Bay went 4-12 and some were clamoring for Brett to retire during and after that season. Some of that has to do with the players around him, but there is nothing that says he will stay at the level of last year.

B. Plays a position that is the most important on the field.

Only on offense. I don't think Brett does a whole lot from the sidelines while the defense is on the field.

C. Plays a position at which they lack a proven starter.

True, Aaron Rodgers has yet to start a game in the NFL, but he had studied under Favre for the past three years.

D. Is arguably the most beloved player in team history and one of the most beloved players in NFL history.

How many players and coaches have hung around one or two years too long? Reggie Miller had an excellent final season in 2004 before retiring. Yet, he still retired. I'm sure he had the itch to come back in 2005, but he stayed retired. Yet, there are several players who continued to play or came back when retirement was the better choice. Michael Jordan should not have come out of retirement for the second time.

This isn't about what Favre has done in the past. It's about what he can do this season.

See above. He'll be 39 this year. There is no guarantee that he will duplicate last season. At 39, the odds would say he will not do as well as 2007.

Does that mean Aaron Rodgers would be better than Favre in '08? Not at all. But I say you just can't welcome Brett immediately back to the team. The Packers drafted Rodgers to succeed Favre and since Brett retired, the Pack have rightfully put Rodgers as the head of the offense for next season.

Even if the Packers decide to bring Favre back, what happens if he starts having a bad year? At what point do you pull the plug and start playing Rodgers? Favre is the type of player who in the past could pull himself out of a poor start to the season, but that does not mean he could now. If Green Bay started 0-2 or 1-3 with Favre, what then? Bench him? Let him start one more game unless he loses then put Rodgers in? That's bad for both players and I don't think that benching Rodgers for another season is good either.

Frankly, the Packers should stick to their guns and tell Favre to stay retired.

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