Brett Favre’s “Thank You” note to fans on his website has started speculation once again whether he will or will not retire
Immediately after the Minnesota Vikings’ disappointing Championship Round loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion, New Orleans Saints, everyone wanted to know what was Vikings quarterback Brett Favre’s decision on the 2010 NFL Season.
Even after throwing another heartbreaking interception to end another season – Favre the last 3 seasons while playing for the Packers, NY Jets, and Vikings has ended his year by throwing an interception – the graybeard wanted to focus more on the fun that he had competing against the Saints with the youngster Vikings. However it now looks like another offseason and another flip-flopping affair for the “John Wayne” of quarterbacks.
As only he could do, Favre left a thank-you note to his fans on his official Web site, acknowledging their support during his 19th season. Of course there was no exact indication of his future plans. There were only vague statements like, “Regardless of what the future holds, I want everyone to know that I will cherish the memories of the past year for the rest of my life”. You could tell from Favre’s message that retirement may have been on his mind again. But like the last three offseasons, it will be see you in the spring or summer for any decision.
The Vikings have said, via GM Rick Spielman, that they will allow Favre to take his time to decide. “I think you go ahead and let Brett decide what he wants to do,” Spielman said. “I know the organization, from our ownership, from our coaches and I think from our fans out there, we’d love to have Brett Favre back for another year and see if we can make another run at this.” And who could blame the Vikings for leaving the ball in Favre’s court.
The 2009 NFL Season truly was a bounce-back season for Favre. There wasn’t even a hint of the worn-down gunslinger from the 2008 season that the New York Jets threw on the scrap heap after Favre threw an NFL-high 22 interceptions with the J-E-T-S losing down the stretch to miss the playoffs.
The 3-time NFL MVP looked like a legitimate candidate for a fourth honor as he led the Vikings to a 12-4 regular season record (second seed in the NFC) and Minnesota won the NFC North title plus came within a 31-28 overtime loss of making the Super Bowl.
Individually, Favre arguably had his best season statistically in his 19-year NFL career. He completed 68.4% of his passes for 4202 yards, 33 touchdowns, a career-low 7 interceptions, and a 107.2 passer rating. Those numbers were good enough for Favre to make his 11th Pro Bowl, though he took a pass on the actual game as he recovered from the battering that the Saints delivered to him in the playoffs.
Even though I made a pact a couple of offseasons ago that I would not try to predict what Brett Favre would do. In this “one” circumstance, I will try to read the tea leaves surrounding this surefire Hall of Famer. Despite Favre taking a vicious beating at the hands of the Saints in the NFC Championship Game, I still believe that he still has the competitive fire to play.
The Vikings were a drastically improved team last season and should be considered Super Bowl contenders again in 2010. Plus the team rallied around Favre all season as he made players around him like receiver Greg Lewis better — remember his game-winning catch against the Niners in Week 3. There also is the little matter of the 40-year old having one-year remaining on his two-year contract with a base 2010 salary of $13 million dollars.
The key to me will be how long the Vikings are willing to wait for an answer. You have to wonder if they will want to know by the 2010 NFL Draft — scheduled from April 22-24 – because that’s when teams map out their future direction. The real fun will be, if Favre does indeed finally retire and sticks to it (doubt it). The Vikings would then have to look to either make a trade (current Eagles QB’s Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick prime targets) or turn over the reins to one of their inconsistent backups, Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels.
Anyway stay tuned for the next installment of “As the Favre Turns”, because this melodrama is not going away anytime soon.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)