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Favre to return?

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Thanks to Brett Favre, pro football is in the news again. This is welcome relief to those of us struggling to figure out Bronson Arroyo while tearing up another wasted Andy Roddick Wimbledon future book ticket.

Favre supposedly has the itch to play again. That was about as predictable as gas prices going up. Of course Favre wants to play again. Why not? He’s still an elite quarterback, a freak of nature at 38. Money probably isn’t a huge motivating factor for him, but $12 million base salary isn’t exactly chump change.

My guess is if Favre had to do it all over again, he wouldn’t have been so quick to announce his retirement four months ago. Fans love Favre, but not his soap opera, drama queen style of handling his pending retirement.

Team Odds (
New England Patriots 7/2
Dallas Cowboys 6/1
San Diego Chargers 7/1
Indianapolis Colts 7/1
Jacksonville Jaguars 12/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 14/1
N.Y. Giants 15/1
Minnesota Vikings 18/1
New Orleans Saints 20/1
Philadelphia Eagles 20/1
Cleveland Browns 25/1
Seattle Seahawks 25/1
Green Bay Packers 25/1
Chicago Bears 35/1
N.Y. Jets 35/1
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40/1
Tennessee Titans 40/1
Carolina Panthers 40/1
Arizona Cardinals 50/1
Buffalo Bills 50/1
Washington Redskins 50/1
Denver Broncos 50/1
Oakland Raiders 50/1
Cincinnati Bengals 60/1
Houston Texans 60/1
Baltimore Ravens 75/1
St. Louis Rams 75/1
Detroit Lions 80/1
San Francisco 49ers 80/1
Miami Dolphins 901
Atlanta Falcons 100/1
Kansas City Chiefs 100/1
Now Favre is back on the fence as far as playing again. Hell, Brett, just come out and say you want in.

Nobody is going to hold it against you, except Aaron Rodgers. Maybe some brass in the Green Bay Packers office might, too, since opinion is divided there.

But Favre wanting to come back after all is good for the Packers, not bad. Yes, Favre’s big contract would now count against Green Bay’s salary cap. It would mean fiscal conservative general manager Ted Thompson would only have around a billion dollars not to spend on free agents. So no damage there.

Favre coming back would make the Packers the favorite to win the NFC. The only question marks Green Bay have right now is depth at cornerback and at quarterback, where the team is totally untested. That would immediately change if Favre were back.

Rodgers may be good. He gave a glimpse of that against Dallas last year in a fill-in role. Perhaps, though, the Cowboys were taken a bit off guard having game-planned for Favre all week.

All we can say for sure about Rodgers right now is he’s injury prone. He’s already been sidelined twice by injuries even though he has hasn’t started a game during his three pro seasons. Favre has never missed a game in 17 years of combat. If the season started today and Rodgers were to get hurt, the Packers would have to scale their entire offense way down because they just have rookie quarterbacks in back of Rodgers.

Green Bay’s defense is solid, but it’s not nearly dominant enough to carry an offense like the Baltimore Ravens did in 2000.

Let’s say Favre stays retired and Rodgers gets hurt. People all the way in China would be able to hear the clamoring in Wisconsin for the Packers to immediately hire a fur trapper to hit the backwoods and yank Favre off his tractor and get him back into the Green Bay huddle.

If Favre comes back, he’s the starter. There’s no quarterback controversy. However, that doesn’t mean Mike McCarthy can’t yank Favre if he’s struggling in cold weather, like he did twice late last season. That last interception he threw against the Giants in the NFC title game can’t be tolerated, first-ballot Hall of Fame or not.

Some perceive Thompson as wanting to move on, meaning cutting ties with Favre. Rodgers is his boy after all. But how many more years would Favre play? It probably would be just this coming season. Rodgers still has two more years before he could leave via free agency.

It’s a win-win situation for Thompson, not a dilemma. If Favre does come back to Green Bay, the Packers are in the rare position of having a top-eight quarterback along with a reliable backup. They also can take their time preparing second-round pick Brian Brohm. There would be no pressure on him.

If Thompson decides he no longer can have Favre around, he can trade him for a high draft choice. There would be suitors out there, especially if a starting quarterback should get hurt during training camp or in preseason.

The Minnesota Vikings could win the Super Bowl if they had Favre. Too bad for the Vikings they play in the NFC North.

Thompson wouldn’t be as vilified as some might think for trading Favre, because No. 4 announced his retirement. Packer fans understand the team has gone forward since then.

This is a franchise, remember, who’s most cherished member - Vince Lombardi - finished as coach of the Washington Redskins.

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