While Trade was a No-Brainer, Let's Not Anoint Him Broadway Just Yet
You can't go home again. That old saying rang true when Brett Favre had the door to Green Bay slammed in his face. The same place where he used to walk on water - and the Frozen Tundra - at first tried to be subtle in telling the grizzled veteran quarterback that they were all better off if he stayed away. But Favre wouldn't accept that and forced a trade, one that even he called "unique" and surprising.
Perhaps the most unlikely of suitors were the Jets, and that's exactly how this thing played out. When Favre was introduced during a hurried press conference in Cleveland, he, general manager Mike Tannenbaum and team owner Woody Johnson all appeared as if they stayed at the biggest party of the summer too late - exhausted, but glad that they did it.
"Did I ever think that this scenario would present itself?" Favre asked himself. "No." That may be attributed to the fact that the legendary signal-caller would have preferred staying a Packer or being dealt within the NFC North. Neither was in the cards, so he finds himself in New York...er, New Jersey.
The story has been told ad naseum. Favre has waffled on retirement for years now and has two left on his original contract he signed with Green Bay. It remains to be seen if he will honor that with his new team, or give it one last go and finally call it a day.
"I would keep our conversations private on that except to say that we are taking things season by season," said Tannenbaum. "We are really happy to have him for the season and we will move forward from there."
While that may not be a ringing endorsement for a multi-year commitment, even if Favre said he would play two it doesn't mean anything. He can always walk away at any time. Given the fact that he is such a gamer and fiery competitor, the only way that would happen is if the Jets go through another disaster like last year (not likely, with all the improvements topped off with Favre) or a serious injury (also not likely, with him having played in every game since 1993).
It's hard to find much fault with this trade, especially when you factor in what Favre brings to the table besides touchdown passes. Yes, he did take a step back in both 2005 and 2006, but he had an excellent season a year ago and may have thrown his worst pass of the season on his last attempt. Gebril Wilson's interception in overtime of the NFC Championship Game set up a winning field goal attempt for the Giants.
Looking at what will actually change hands, the conditional fourth round draft pick can go up to a first round if the Jets make the Super Bowl. Even 'half-empty glass' guys like WFAN's Joe Benigno would sign for that right now.
The move ended the Chad Pennington era in New York. While he may not have been able to zip it in there like Favre, he does hold the highest completion percentage in NFL history. Pennington was an accurate passer and a good leader, so losing him - even if he stayed on as a back-up - is tough, and something not lost on Tannenbaum. "This is a bittersweet moment," the GM said. "I have the greatest respect in the world for Chad."
If Favre goes down for any extended period of time, the Jets will have to trust Kellen Clemens to keep the position warm. The third-year player was behind in an open competition during training camp with Pennington, and was not effective during eight starts in 2007.
Is Favre worth at least six more wins? In the ultra-competitive AFC, it will take 10 wins to make the playoffs. With all of their new editions, that is definitely a possibility. For that to transcend from paper to the field, a general such as Favre is a good step in the right direction.
One that may end with a parade on Broadway? Let's get through the preseason first.