Brett Favre will-he, won't-he carousel spins on
After putting our collective Jockey's in a bunch with no actual news yesterday, the circus of Brett Favre's playing status for 2010 continued today with word from both ESPN and the Strib indicating from "the horse's mouth" that the quarterback has made no decision whether to retire, citing the health of his surgically repaired left ankle as the name concern keeping him from his 20th NFL season.
After reports surfaced this morning that the Vikings were willing to raise Favre's contract to upwards of $20 million in this uncapped NFL season (he was/is due to make $13 mil), ESPN's Favre lap dog Ed Werder reported that Favre denied yesterday's reports about informing Viking teammates and team officials about packing it in. According to a report from ESPN.com:
"Favre told ESPN that he has decided to play for Minnesota in 2010 if his surgically repaired ankle heals but said the fact he has not been able to decide his future reflects his level of concern about regaining his health."
The report went on to note that on Wednesday, Favre's agent Bus Cook said in a statement to the NFL Network that Favre "has an appointment with Dr. James Andrews next week and will know more at that time. Andrews performed surgery on Favre's ankle in May." Cook was then quoted as saying to the Network:
"As far as Brett is concerned, in spite of reports to the contrary, Brett's situation has nothing to do with his contract, but everything to do with his health and ability to contribute to that team and play at a level that he has been accustomed to playing over the years."
In concurrent stories (and images) coming via the Strib and the Associated Press today, it was reported that Favre ". . .threw briefly during football practice at Oak Grove High School. He did not run, but spent most of the practice tutoring quarterbacks and wide receivers."
Keep your red noses, floppy shoes and face paint at the ready, dear sports fans. This is a yarn that will only spin with more twists in the weeks to come. The situation is maddening, of course, as the Vikings (along with players and fans) are again held hostage with the three-time MVP for a second straight year, with all holding the knowledge that with Favre the Purple are a markedly better on-field product. And without him? Well, let's simply say that Tarvaris Jackson, even if improved, does not a Super Bowl quarterback make.
But I'll put it down here for the record: the smart money says Favre comes back this year. We'll dredge through the crap for three weeks and he'll fly in as a last-minute hero again. And the declination of Favre backers over the course of the circus will be offset by the rise in victories he'll ultimately bring to the Vikings.
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