Friday, July 11, 2008

Breaking news: Favre asks Pack for unconditional release

Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that Brett Favre has sent a letter to the Packers asking for his unconditional release. In an article at, Mortensen says, "Three days after a conference call with Green Bay Packers team officials on Tuesday in which quarterback Brett Favre emphatically expressed his desire to play in 2008, Favre on Friday formally asked for his contractual release from the Packers in a letter, sources close to Favre and the team said." It gets worse. The letter to the Packers from Brett's agent, James "Bus" Cook, asked that the release be made "with no strings attached." According to Mortensen's sources, Brett doesn't want to be traded because he wants the freedom of choice to play for any other franchise.

Oh boy. Can the nightmare get any worse? I guess the Pack could oblige the request and let Brett go. Certainly, all the signals the Packers have sent have basically said that they've moved on. That apparently was the gist of the conference call, as well. So, Brett's saying, OK, if you've moved on let me move on, too. Yikes!

Former NFL great Steve Young commented on ESPN's NFL Live show that there's "no way the Packers can release him because he could go and play for the Bears." Asking for his release is, in Young's words, Brett's way of "sticking it" to the Packers as a bit of a payback for what he feels has been a less-than-nice way the Pack has treated him over the last year or two. Young stated that he believes Brett is looking at this in terms of a very short-term perspective, that he feels he can play another year or two and his legacy as the QB of the Packers will always be there. (While true, this situation may leave a bit of a bad taste in some fans mouths, to say the least.)

Young went on to say that this whole situation places Aaron Rodgers in a very tough situation, even more so than before. On the other hand, some of the other commentators noted that one of the biggest votes of confidence Rodgers could have is the commitment that the Packers are showing to him now, especially if they do trade or release Brett. Trading Brett, they stated, might be problematic for the Pack because of the remaining contract he has left (three years and $39 million). They also reiterated that Brett is responsible for the situation, he announced his retirement and the Packers moved on accordingly. "There is no exit strategy for a legend to leave the game," former NFL receiver Chris Carter added.

So, for which teams might Brett be a good fit? According to the NFL Live crew, Washington and Tampa Bay would be a good fit because of the system. Of course, the ViQueens name came up...the horror...the horror. As Peter King stated in his SI column of earlier in the week, there is no way that the Packers would trade Brett to play with any other team in the division. An outright contractual release could make that a possibility.

But would the Pack actually release Brett and not get anything in return for him? I can't imagine that. Of course, I could never have imagined this current scenario coming about either. And I have to agree with the NFL Live bunch: this is Brett's doing. Attempts by him, his agent or others to pin the situation on Ted Thompson -- and admittedly without knowing all the behind-the-scenes stuff that has gone on -- seems like spitting into the wind and then blaming the wind for blowing it back in your face.

Packer fans, we have indeed entered the bizarro world and for now there seems to be no way out. Keep that seatbelt buckled up.

You can read Mortensen's entire article here.