The League

Peter Schaffer
NFL Agent

Peter Schaffer

Agent and professor of sports law

Favre, Vikes May Crash and Burn

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The long awaited, anticipated and belated signing by the Minnesota Vikings of future Hall of Fame Quarterback, 39-year-old flamethrower and cameo actor Brett Favre can only be seen as an "ALL IN PLAY." It will either result in Favre, Coach Childress and owner Wolf hoisting the Lombardi Trophy over their collective heads in Miami next February, or with Favre and the Vikings crashing and burning like the aircraft carrier Sōryū after the battle of Midway. There are many variables which ultimately will determine the success or failure of this venture however the best indicator may be Favre's mediocre results with the Jets in 2008 rather than his successes with the Packers over the last two decades.

Brett Favre's talent and ability to succeed are second to none in the history of the NFL. He has the records to prove it, the strong and accurate arm to go along with it and the cowboy mentality to defy all odds. Favre directed his Packer's teams to NFL championships, sometimes with his talent, sometimes with his arm and sometimes with his mere will power. His ability to lead a game wining drive, against a fierce defense and the freezing wind of Lambeau Field is legendary. The Vikings team of 2009 seems tailored made for a player of Favre's talent and pedigree. They play in a dome, they have an All-Pro and running back in Adrian Peterson, and they have a fierce and powerful defense. The fans of Minnesota are also starved for a Super Bowl and will rally passionately behind any players who offer a glimmer of hope towards the Promised Land. If any quarterback can resurrect his career at the advanced NFL age of 39 with a new team, it is Favre.

However, along with the talent Favre also has some demonstrated idiosyncrasies and character flaws which combined with a partial tear of a rotator cuff in his throwing arm places a significantly higher degree of risk on this venture. The perennial circus and wishy-washy nature of his off-field decision making combined with his complete abstaining from the Vikings off-season programs, Teams Organized Activities, Mini camps and the majority of this year's training camp also diminishes his chances of success.

Nothing personal, but Favre's failure to maintain a semblance of logic and rationality in his overall decisions making processes for the past three years starting in Green Bay and the debacle surrounding his departure from the Packers and then to the Jets in 2008 and then his on-and-off flirtation with the Vikings throughout the balance of 2009 does not help garner respect from his teammates and coaches. The Vikings have now committed themselves to being all-in with Favre. They have ostensibly crushed the confidence of the current quarterbacks on their roster. This desperation move will either win them the ultimate respect of their organization and players or lose it entirety.

By Peter Schaffer  |  August 19, 2009; 1:49 PM ET  | Category:  Brett Favre , Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I side with your prediction. As intriguing as adding Brett is from a PR/fan perspective, and by fan you may be including ownership, this is not fantasy football. While success in our sport and specifically in the NFL certainly requires top flight talent on the par of a Favre, it also takes cohesion in your locker room. Such cohesion is built over time, time that Brett has not spent with the Vikings. That being said I’ll give Brett this much, because of his Hall of Fame track record and his “one of the guys” personality, he has the ability to ingratiate himself to his teammates rather quickly. Last year’s introduction to the Jets is tangible evidence. However, the “Mini-Apple” is a different scene from the Big Apple. For one, Brett finished the ’07 campaign on a magic carpet ride in GB, which had to be very intriguing to NYJ, TB and other suitors at the time. In contrast, the tape of his stretch run in ’08 was not quite so alluring to say the least! Secondly, as you aptly point out, physically he was beat up at the close of the ’08 season. How is he going to rebound from that? Once again on the contrary, his rehabilitation from ’07 was mostly psychological and not physical. As an aside, he has illustrated these past 3 years that his psychological rehab will continue in perpetuity and thus will always be a factor! Lastly, both the ’08 Jets and the ’09 Vikes shared the common belief that they are on the cusp of hoisting the trophy, a step Brett can help them take. However, last year’s J-men appeared more dependent on an arm than the present day Vikes. The purple guys already have a game changing dominant force in AP. How will these two mix? Can Brett set his ego aside and resist forcing a few turnovers to just turn, hand it to Adrian and watch him go? Can Brett deal with AP gaining the headlines? One last interesting side bar…as good as Brett was in his Green Bay glory years, where did he struggle the most within his division? You guessed it, the HHH dome! Should be interesting to watch. Another season long soap opera for all of the “experts” to debate! I guess if anyone can prove everyone wrong it’s Brett…but I’m taking your side on this one.

Posted by: JimBeam888 | August 19, 2009 4:29 PM

Why do I have the feeling if I looked back on your blog here, I'd find you pleading for poor ole Mike Vick to get a "second chance"? It baffles me. Sickens me. I wonder if you understand that the mentality that would drive a man to ENJOY torturing and slaughtering innocent animals isn't that different from the mentality of a serial killer. Jeffrey Dahmer started out by torturing animals too.

But Favre, the NFL's poster boy for sportsmanship, just needs to "go away." Well, Gee, why haven't y'all been RABIDLY been demanding T.O. "go away" and stop being such a prima donna? Or all those other players with egos the size of the Grand Canyon? No, it's just Favre. When GB treated him like crap and pushed him to retire, everyone said "It a business," but when Favre wants to play, he's a traitor. Y'all just don't actually appear to have any real standards of fairness or decency ... just BS.

I'm real sick of the sports media, and I don't think y'all have a clue how popular Favre is. Remember how many NY jerseys he sold?

Anyway, I've been pretty disgusted with the Packers since they treated the man who pulled them out of the ditch they'd been laying in for 30 years, like he was standing in their way. They wanted to be rid of him, but didn't want him to play for ANYONE else. This, the year after he was arguably the No. 2 rated QB in the NFL, behind Tom Brady, who didn't even play last year.

Frankly, I just can't root for foam cheese and a color scheme, when I've lost respect for the team's management. Murphy with his dirty bags of bribe money, and Thompson with all of his half-truths and outright lies. I hope someday soon, Murphy and Thompson are fired. I mean, the team sucks due to their fine judgement. I have nothing against Rodgers, but he's just no Favre, and I think he gets hurt too much, but we shall see.

I can't see myself wearing any Vikings jerseys though. That's a bridge to far for me, but I will be rooting for Favre! He's one in a millio,n and I'm be thrilled and privileged to watch him play another year.

Posted by: TeriB | August 19, 2009 5:26 PM

Sorry, but it was all-pros Reggie White, Sterling Sharpe, Keith Jackson and the linemen who pulled Brett Favre into his one Super Bowl win. Favre's decision making skills are poor, so if his arm is healthy, he'll only throw healthy, perfect strikes to the opposing team. His INTs and Bennett's fumble problems will be comical this year.

Posted by: tkoos | August 19, 2009 6:02 PM

I have watched nearly every game Brett played with the Packers, and he probably singlehandedly blew more games than he singlehandedly saved. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy for how he played, but he was a mixed blessing at best for the last several years.

As for the Vikings being Superbowl Contenders? LOLOLOLOL. The Vikings seem to believe that Superbowls are won on paper, not on the field.

Posted by: JoeBewildered | August 19, 2009 7:20 PM

Worst case scenario is Favre doesn't play well and the Vikings are left with QB's they were going to have this season anyway. There is a big upside and no downside to signing Favre.

Posted by: fglamser | August 19, 2009 9:43 PM

Tkoos -- Sterling Sharpe was not on the Packer Super Bowl team of 1996. He was done after 1994 due to a neck injury. WR for the Packers in Super Bowl XXXI were Antonio Freeman and Andre Rison. Regardless, you are correct. Favre was frequently surrounded with talent in GB and yet, 1 Lombardi Trophey to show for it.

Posted by: cheezzzhead63 | August 20, 2009 11:45 AM

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