It’s been almost frighteningly obvious how the Sports Frappe has avoided the Brett Favre saga like the plague. I suppose you can say we like to leave the gossip and speculation to companies like ESPN and TMZ. But now the whole saga is being put to rest, sort of, since Brett Favre has been reinstated and is reporting to training camp today. The whole situation definitely leaves Brett and the Packers in an interesting predicament: do you give Brett Favre a chance to win the starting quarterback role, or do you trade him before every team loses interest? But this brings up an even more interesting topic: players’ contracts.
The whole Brett Favre saga has pointed out how lopsided contractual agreements are in the NFL. Under the current policies set up by the NFL, a team can cut a player at any time and not be responsible for that player’s existing contract. This means the cut player receives no severance pay whatsoever (unless there termination was the result of an injury). In the NFL, the only guaranteed money is your signing bonus. So while a team can part ways with a player at any given time for any reason they choose, a player does not have said liberties. Instead, a player who is under contract is under contract until free agency. The only leverage a player has over his team is the dreaded hold-out, which still keeps them under contract, only without pay (and usually a fine).
So in the Brett Favre saga, this becomes crucial because Favre either has to stay retired (although he is still under contract) or he has to return to the Packers. He can stamp his feet and plead and yell all he wants, but the Packers are the ones in the position to determine his fate. What’s most interesting about this is if the Packers stick to the Aaron Rodgers plan and make Favre the most expensive backup quarterback in NFL history. In which case, you have to imagine the Packers would rather cut ties with him than pay him all that money to ride the pine.
Which brings us back to the major conundrum: do you give Brett Favre a chance to start or not? Because if you do, you better hope he makes the starting role before no one wants to trade for a new quarterback. In which case Green Bay will be forced to cut him, which makes him the best deal on the market, especially if you are the Minnesota Vikings. Imagine how thrilled Favre would be to stick it to his former team by jacking them in Minnesota in week 10.
Now that is what I would call sweet revenge.