If Brett Favre was to enter the market as an unrestricted free agent, would the Washington Redskins consider bringing him in? Should they?
I didn't consider this at all when the news that Favre had inquired with the Green Bay Packers about the possibility of a return last week. Wake me when it's over, I thought then.
It's looking more and more, though, that Favre will end up playing somewhere in 2008. Peter King thinks that it will happen as does Pat Kirwin on Sirius NFL Radio.
If Favre does indeed want to play, all he has to do is tell the Packers that he is no longer retired and that he intends to report to training camp. They then will have three options: bring him back, trade him, or release him.
The pressure to bring him back would, of course, be overwhelming. Imagine if in July of 2003 that Darrell Green announced that he would like to return for another season and the Redskins said, no thanks, we're moving forward with the people we have. Now imagine the hue and cry of protest coming from Redskins fans in that situation and multiply it by a factor of about 1,000. That would be the reaction in Wisconsin and around the country if the Packers told Brett Favre to drop dead.
It's possible, though, that the Packers won't be so eager to welcome back the living legend. They have gone through the offseason preparing Aaron Rodgers for the role of starting quarterback. The word is that one of the reasons that Favre decided to retire in February is that the Packer organization gave him strong hints that they were ready to move on from the Favre era.
So, let's say that Green Bay is willing to take the PR hit in the short term and do what they think is best in the long term and let Favre walk.
Are the Redskins shoppers in a market for Favre? And, assuming that he has considerable say over where he goes, would he be interested in coming to Washington?
I've heard in a few places that the Skins would be in the picture. As far as I can tell, this was nothing more than speculation, an attempt to connect the dots. Whenever a big-name player is on the market, there are those in the media who will speculate that Dan Snyder will make a play for him.
This, however, might go beyond the usual kneejerk reaction. There are a few reasons why Favre would be a good fit for the Skins and vice versa:
- He would need to play for a team that employs the West Coast offense. With limited time to prepare, Favre would have to be able to get up the speed in a hurry. That would mean going to a WCO system, one that he could operate in his sleep. Jim Zorn is bringing a West Coast system to the Redskins. He's from the Mike Holmgren school and Favre had his greatest success
- He would want to play for a contending team. Favre doesn't want to come back if he doesn't have a realistic shot of contending for a title. The problem is that most perennial playoff teams have an established QB. The Redskins have made the playoffs two of the last three years with two different starting quarterbacks in the playoffs and a third playing most of the last year and a half. That's hardly a settled situation.
- The Redskins are willing to take a risk. While this offseason has been rather quiet, don't forget the deal that wasn't made—the offer of two draft picks for Chad Johnson. If there is an opportunity, the Redskins will listen.
There are very, very few teams that meet these criteria. The Vikings would fit the bill, but the fact that Favre might not want to join a team in the same division as the Packers works against that (certainly, if he gets traded, this destination is out of the question). Baltimore probably was better than its 5-11 record last year and could be called a contender but they don't run the WCO. There has been talk of Favre going to Carolina but, again, no West Coast offense.
I might be missing another team with the right combination of scheme, quality of surrounding talent, lack of an established QB, and aggressive style to fit the mutual needs of Favre and a new employer, but it's certainly a short list.
Should they look into bringing Favre aboard, of course, the Redskins would face the same dilemma as do the Packers in regards to the development of their young quarterback. Jason Campbell was drafted just a few picks after Rodgers, as a matter of fact. While Campbell has shown promise, enough for Zorn to anoint him the uncontested starter, he hasn't played well enough to cement his role. If you're offered the chance to bring in a Hall of Fame quarterback who has another couple of seasons left in the tank you have to take a serious look at moving Campbell back to the bench.
I have no doubt that Snyder and Vinny Cerrato would kick Campbell to the curb to bring in Bret Favre. Snyder has stated that he won't bring anyone on to the roster that Zorn does not want.
So, if it comes down to Zorn making the call to OK a deal or spike it, what does a rookie head coach do? Does he cast his lot with Campbell and sink or swim with the untested QB? Or does he go for the Hall of Famer for two years and perhaps start off his head coaching career with a bang?
I don't mean for this to come across as something that I think should happen or will happen. At this point, it's an intriguing possibility but as is the case in any deal the devil would be in the details.
But I do think that, in the very near future, there is a very good chance that the Redskins will have to make a choice as to whether or not they will make a play for Brett Favre. It seems likely to me that they will seriously consider the possibility.