Favre Will Likely Be Back
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FAVRE WILL LIKELY BE BACK
The way I look at it, the Brett Favre story is a repeat of last year, when it appeared the great quarterback was going to retire and he not only played but maybe had the best season of his 19-year NFL career.
The reports last year at this time by most media outlets, including all of those great speculating websites, was that the 40-year-old quarterback had played his final season of his career with the Jets in 2008 because of a biceps muscle tear in his throwing arm.
But two people -- Vikings coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who had been with Favre for six years in Green Bay -- knew different.
They were convinced that because Favre was such a great competitor, he was going to play unless he was physically unable to run or throw a football.
So Childress and Bevell kept talking to Favre. He finally said yes and nearly led the Vikings to the Super Bowl.
You want my opinion whether Favre will play this year? Well, it's 100 percent more optimistic than it was last year at this time.
A year ago Favre had no idea how well his family would be welcomed in Minnesota. Favre wasn't sure how good a football team he was joining, and he found out in a hurry. He didn't know how well he would get along with his new teammates and how happy he would be playing here.
No member of the media talked to Favre more than I did last season. We had a lot of conversations where he told me he was never more comfortable with a club and what a great decision he had made not to retire. So my conclusion is there is a lot better chance of him coming back this season than there was at this time last year because of the great experience he had.
I don't think money is going to be an issue. If it is, then rest assured the Wilf family will pay whatever is a reasonable price to bring him back, even more than the $13 million he agreed to last year.
As for all the rumors Tuesday that Favre was planning to retire, Childress talked to Favre on the phone Monday evening and said Favre gave no hint of having made a decision. Favre's closest friend on the team, kicker Ryan Longwell, also had talked to Favre on Monday, and if Favre was going to tell anybody he was retiring, it would be his longtime teammate with the Packers and now Vikings.
So my conclusion is this:
If Favre's surgically repaired ankle is in such bad shape, then he will retire. However, he has started 286 consecutive games (308 including playoffs), even when injured and in a lot of pain.
If he doesn't have a physical problem, then look for Favre to appear at Winter Park in a couple of weeks.
by Sid Hartman
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