Sunday, May 13, 2007

Did Brett Ask to be Traded?

Here's something you don't hear every day. Or ever, for that matter. Brett Favre asking for a trade. That's what a report on the Fox Sports website says. Citing anonymous sources, the report says that Favre's agent, Bus Cook, called Packers' GM Ted Thompson to request a trade a few days after last month's draft. Why? Because, supposedly, Brett was upset that the Pack let Randy Moss slip through their fingers and land in New England. Actually, the word used in this report by Jay Glazer is that Brett was "incensed." In looking at the report on Fox Sports, it appears that the same kind of hyperbole is used in relaying this story as in most of its televised news shows. For example, Cook just didn't merely request the trade with Thompson, he "railed off on how his client was fed up with the organization and wanted out." OK. Maybe it was heated or maybe it wasn't. But unless it was a party line phone call (am I dating myself with that reference?), the only two people that know the context of that call -- if there was one -- are Cook and Thompson. Cook may be more likely to talk...that is his job in a way. It's Thompson's too, just doesn't do much of it and, when he does, doesn't say much. So, who knows how upset Brett was?

Brett, of course. And here's what he said Saturday in an interview with reporters during his charity golf outing in Mississippi: "I just want to win; maybe I see things the wrong way. I don't want to ruffle any feathers and I want people to respect me. Sometimes I think it's hard for them to let Brett go. They might think that we pay him a lot of money, but he still gives us the best chance to win. I've never been told that, but there are times when I wonder if I'm the odd man out here and they just don't know how to tell me. Our offense struggled last season. If it were not for our defense, we would not have won eight games. Right now, it's hard to be optimistic. I'm not getting any younger and I think everyone knows that. I don't have five years to rebuild. No one in Green Bay is saying rebuild but it's hard to look at where we are going and say, 'How can they not be rebuilding?' I don't know if I've lost faith, and I think everyone in the organization wants to win. I just don't know if it includes me. If it's going to be five years from now, I'm not going to be here. This is 17 years for me and I want to win." Brett is not a happy camper.

According to a report on, "In a statement posted on the Packers' Web site, general manager Ted Thompson said he would not address the specifics of the report but understood the frustration Favre vented in interviews over the weekend. 'I think it's natural for a player to be frustrated from time to time -- that's simply being human,' Thompson said. 'Everyone knows that Brett Favre is all about winning. As an organization, we share that commitment. And we want to win now.'"

Fans have already expressed their disappointment with this year's draft. Today, after this latest story broke, sport talk radio -- at least in some parts of the Packers' home state -- were abuzz with fans calling in to rip Ted Thompson a new one. While fans were apparently evenly split beforehand about the possible trade for Moss, now hearing that Brett may have asked for a trade after that didn't happen is enough for some to jump on the dump Thompson bandwagon. That, of course, won't happen. At least, not yet. If, however, the Packers languish on offense this year as a result of missing the Moss trade and failing to acquire a new quality starting running back to replace Ahman Green -- and Brett decides to hang up his cleats because he doesn't like what he sees -- Thompson just might find himself with no more room to maneuver.

Time will answer many of these questions (at least that's what the Magic 8 Ball advisor says!).

You can read Thompson's comments here. The Fox Sports story is here. ESPN's version is here.