Saturday, July 12, 2008

Thompson and Packers Make the Right Move

On Saturday, Packers GM Ted Thompson announced that the Packers will not grant Brett Favre his outright release. Instead if he is reinstated he would likely come in a backup role, though it is likely that Favre would not accept a role as the backup to newly anointed QB Aaron Rodgers. When asked if Favre would remain on the Packers as a coach or a backup, Thompson responded by saying "not a coach".

Thompson went on to say that Favre wouldn't necessarily be a back but rather an active member of the Green Bay Packers. But Thompson once again affirmed that Favre will not be released and acknowledged that the whole situation has put a mental strain on the organization and those involved.

I applaud what Thompson and the Packers have done here. Brett Favre is signed for 3 more years and granting him his release does nothing for the Packers and could hurt them in another way if he goes to a contender and helps them win. By keeping him, they can test his market value and get some return on him if he leaves or keep him in the uniform he should be in. It's a business decision. Letting him go for nothing to go to a competitor is just bad business. A lot of people let their fandom and admiration for Favre blind them to the fact that what he is doing is hurting the Packers.

Favre has gone on 5 years, as Winks stated yesterday, with this when am I gonna quit charade. All along the organization is painted as the bad guys when really they are just doing their best be winners. The Packers prepared for that as any good team would by drafting an "heir" to Favre's throne. Then Favre complains about it saying he feels like the Packers are pushing out the door. Then every season he says he might be done, or he might not and doesn't give an answer until late in the summer. That hurts the Packers in terms of preparing for the next season. Now this year he retires, and the Packers get ready to move on. Then the Letterman thing happens, then in March he tells McCarthy and Thompson he wants to come back. The Packers are ready to give him another shot but then calls back to change his mind.

That right there is when the Packers turned the corner to start a new era. Now Favre wants back, asks for his release and not to be traded so he can go to the team of his choice. Now we are at a crossroads.

1)If the Packers start Favre and win the Super Bowl this year everything is fine, but next year Rodgers walks, Favre retires for good and now we have a third string QB as a starter next year in Brohm, and definitely not as ready as Rodgers would be.

2)Favre could also start and look his age, struggle, then you are truly left with a mess. Rodgers would be disgruntled and walks and you wasted an entire year possibly the future with a great supporting cast and nothing to show for it.

3)The Packers could start Rodgers, leave Favre as a backup and if Rodgers struggles you'll have Favre there to take over the reins, then groom Brohm as the future and let Rodgers walk at the end of the season. If Rodgers succeeds and the Packers go deep in the playoffs or wins the super bowl then you know that Rodgers is ready and Favre is expendable.

4)Trade or release Favre, Rodgers could struggle or succeed, some Packer fans would be irate at Thompson for not starting Favre regardless. You have a split fanbase, possibly a bad team or a good team but Favre on a contender and possibly an enemy come playoff time. This situation is a mess.

5)Favre stays retired, the Packers see what Rodgers has to offer, good or bad you actually know and the organization as a whole can move on to make the necessary adjustments.

To me option 5 makes for the safest option both short term and long term, but again if Favre would have just stayed away from the beginning it would have been the best. My only issue with any Packer fans getting mad is to blame all of this on Ted Thompson. He has been phenomenal in my opinion in putting this team in position to win. He has completely upgraded our defense with savvy picks and the signing of Woodson. On the offense he revamped the offensive line surrounded the quarterback with a great core of receivers and brought in an RB in Grant who looks like he could be the real deal. Not to mention pulling the trigger on hiring a young offensive minded coach in McCarthy. Thompson putting his foot down in this situation only further proves his alliance to winning.

If Thompson gives into Favre it shows that Favre is bigger than the team, and anyone on it, and as great as he is and was for the Packers one person can't be bigger than the team, they just can't be. As a fan of the Packers you have to realize that. If you don't see it that way then in my opinion you are a Favre fan first and a Packer fan second. And if you were a Packer fan before Favre then I just don't get it. It would be one thing if the management would run the team into the ground, but Thompson has done exactly the opposite. My opinion is that I am a Packer fan, and then a Favre fan, and since what Favre has done over the last few months has really hurt the team, it puts me in a position that instantly squares me against Favre.

As much as it hurts to say, I just want Favre to go away. Take a note from Barry Sanders. I have moved on and want to see what Rodgers has to offer. The question "Who gives the Packers the best chance to win right now?" is a ridiculous one because there is no way of knowing that. We could be sitting on gold with Rodgers or he could be awful. Favre could come back and do what he did last year and look great or he could show his age be cost the Packers much more. I want to see what Rodgers can do. I think he's ready, and apparently so does Packers management, and I'm sorry but those who disagree with Thompson, that's why you don't work in a football front office. Thompson has made 90% of the right decisions so far, and I'll trust him on this one.


Anonymous said...

Bart - are you serious? I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but get real. You're saying that the "who gives the Packers the best change to win right now" is a ridiculous question?! Of course there's know way of knowing anything 100%, but you're kidding yourself if you think it's anything but Favre at the helm. Based on the past history of 1st year starting QB's in this league, what would give us any indication that Rogers is going to do better or even close to the equal of Favre. Throw in Rogers injury history (from basically practice no less)vs Favre's, Favre's almost MVP season a year ago and with all due respect - your hypothesaus is ridiculous. I wish Favre wasn't so dang wishy washy, but if you have the chance to win a championship, you have to take it even with the risk of losing Rogers.

Winks said...

Big Earl,

Thanks for your comments, but I have to correct you. The article was written by my counterpart, Bear. You can tell who wrote the article at the bottom of each column. It's not the best system, but it's what we got.

As for the article in question, I tend to side with Bear on this one. I can't play out history, I can't tell you how good we'll be with either Favre or Rodgers at the helm. I think for the sake of this franchise though, the Packers need to move on.

This isn't just about wins or losses any more, in my opinion. Now, everything we've heard is all according to "reports", but that's all we've got right now. Those reports say that Favre had asked to come back in April, but once Mike and Ted were ready to bring him back, he waivered on his decision. It seems to be at that point the Packers were fully committed to moving on.

Which they had to do. You can't waste your whole offseason waiting to hear if someone is going to come out of retirement or not. It was different when Favre was an active player, but he actually RETIRED! He went through the whole process, the whole press conference, the whole spectacle.

The Packers organization can not allow themselves to be taken hostage by the indecision of Brett Favre.

He has made his choice, we have moved on. This is the "no turning back" point. When I was in college, I got in a really bad, awful argument with one of my best girlfriends. Things were said, and regrets were made. After that night, our relationship was NEVER the same. There was no way it could have been, or ever could be. Once you reach the point where you have to move on, you can't look back.

It may not make sense to some fans right now, but the Packers have moved on. Ted is making the right choice, and there is no turning back.

Some fans think we owe Favre the opportunity to come back, I think he owes us the chance to move on.

Winks said...


If you came over from PackerChatters, than it was listed under my name. I understand the confusion.

Anonymous said...

Favre hasn't won an MVP in 10 years. The packers haven't been to a super bowl in 10 years, why are so many people all over this guy's nuts. Packers should be happy the INT king is retired. Instead two hicks from Wisconsin go out and start a "Lets lick Favre's nuts" campaign..... Awesome Wisconsin, you guys are classic.

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