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Favre is done……again

February 12, 2009

So the news broke today that Brett Favre has decided to hang up his cleats for the second time, and amongst our esteemed two-person staff at Play Action Post this decision is greeted with huge cheers and the popping of much champagne.

However, we’re not throwing the corks away this time in case number 4 decides to return for another ‘one more year’.

This time, hell cry into the $13m the Jets paid him.

This time, he'll cry into the $13m the Jets paid him.

After the terribly handed debacle that was Favre’s 2008 offseason, it seems that he has learned his lesson: he is no longer a viable 16-game quarterback in this league. After stepping out for one year in the Gang Green uniform (and looking as unnatural as Joe Montana in a Chiefs jersey), Favre has declined to return for what would be a mammoth 19th NFL season.

Two big questions are now lurking on the lips of every NFL follower and Favre enthusiast (read: Peter King): is he going to un-retire again, and if not, what are the Jets going to do?

Is Favre coming back (again)?

The chances of this happening again are ridiculously slim. Favre must surely know that he royally shafted the Packers last year by making the decision to retire, giving them plenty of time to adjust Aaron Rodgers to the starting role and then coming back and demanding either his job back or a trade. Both Favre and the Pack handled the situation horribly, and Favre’s subsequent trade to the Jets teared up many Green Bay natives and smeared his credibility as one of the NFL’s stand-up guys. The petty antics of last season are likely to loom large in the mind of Favre as he announces his retirement for the second time, and it would seem that there will be no return in 2009 for Brett Favre.

Frankly it’s a damn shame that the career of one of the best quarterbacks in history ended with such crushing disappointment for his admirers, but cash speaks louder than….well, whatever isn’t cash. Regardless of public declaration, the Jets paid Favre $13 million for a year’s work, and this has to have been a huge incentive to return. After his sub-standard play during the stretch in 2009, one would assume that #4 is not going to attract a lucrative deal again should he un-retire. Even if he came back I don’t think the Jets would take him back. Favre knows that he isn’t the valuable commodity he was last year, and it seems that his stellar career has finally ended.

What are the Jets’ next moves?

New York now has three quarterbacks on its roster with a combined total of 8 NFL starts, all by Kellen Clemens in 2008. They appear to have a lot of faith in Clemens given that they ditched Chad Pennington (whose laughter must actually be audible in New York) to hand him the job. However, a veteran backup is a necessity and there are a number of free agent quarterbacks who would seem to fit the mould. If they decide that Clemens either isn’t good enough or isn’t ready yet, they could draft a QB in the draft this year. The final option is to both draft and sign a QB and let Clemens go, but this isn’t a likely scenario.

The most viable option of these is to sign a free-agent QB and keep Clemens (and Erik Ainge who they drafted last year as a ‘project QB’), and there are quite a few veterans who will be job-hunting this year. Let’s have a gander at a few of the more likely prospects:

Kerry Collins likelihood: high

Collins is coming off a great year with Tennessee and has a lot of experience in the league. This would seem to be the ideal situation for him, as the veteran has demanded starter money after a Pro Bowl 2008 season, and Favre’s departure has freed up a whole heap of cap space for the Jets. He would compete with Clemens for the starter’s job and likely win it. Also, it’s a great chance for him to fully flip the bird to the blue half of NYC, who unceremoniously cut him despite his leading them to the Superbowl. The problem with Collins is that he is another very old quarterback who, like Favre, may not be able to hack a full season in the media tumult of New York. There’s not a lot of time left for Collins and the Jets may well not want another one-and-done veteran quarterback on starting money.

If you feed him, he will throw.

If you feed him, he will throw.

Byron Leftwich likelihood: average-high

Fat Albert just spent a year backing up Big Ben in Pittsburgh, so he will see the opening in New York as a step forward not back. He’d probably be given a fair shot at winning the job for the Jets, and given his impressive physical skill set and good (if limited) showings in the past season, he seems an attractive prospect. However, the knock on Byron is (and always has been) durability. Will he collapse like Favre with injury late in the year? Or will he blow out his knee again? He has the ability to take this job if he’s signed, but will his rocket arm be enough to overcome injury concerns? Based on the fact he won’t demand a salary as high as any other free agent QB and would seem to fit the mould of veteran QB, he seems like a very possible fit for NYJ.

Jeff Garcia likelihood: average

Garcia is coming off a statistically unspectacular year, and may look to leave Tampa to secure a new start. He may be old, but Garcia only turned pro pretty late in the day and hasn’t got much wear and tear unlike Collins or Leftwich. He will also demand starter money, but the problem may be that he doesn’t want any competition for the job. He would seem the ideal tutor for any student – experienced, savvy, has a ridiculously hot wife – but his unspectacular physical attributes may dissuade the Jets.

would rather shag Charlie Weis than trade Matt Cassel

Belichick: laughing on the inside.

Matt Cassel: not fucking likely

Cassel’s franchising means that any team who wants him will have to pay a hefty price, and the idea of the Patriots trading a very good QB to their main rival is ludicrous. A shame for the Jets because he’s the best free-agent QB this season, and would be a tremendous addition. Belichick would rather shag Charlie Weis that trade Cassel to the Jets.

All told, the verdict on the Jets’ QB situation is incredibly obvious to everyone except the team’s management: you never should have cut Chad Pennington.

Here endeth the lesson.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. redemigre permalink
    February 12, 2009 12:17 pm

    Not to start a domestic, but £10 says he ends up playing for (or tries to play for) the Vikings…

  2. distantblues permalink*
    February 12, 2009 1:48 pm

    I think this year showed him that he’s no longer able to hack a full season in a starting role in the NFL. In the Jets’ horrible stretch run, he threw 2 picks and 9 INTs.

    However, I heard an interview with him where he seemed to say he was only retiring because of an injured throwing shoulder…. He may yet return. Hopefully not though.

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