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Is Favre a good fit for the Redskins?

Jul 8, 2008, 2:09 AM EDT

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If Brett Favre was to enter the market as an unrestricted free agent, would the Washington Redskins consider bringing him in? Should they?

I didn’t consider this at all when the news that Favre had inquired with the Green Bay Packers about the possibility of a return last week. Wake me when it’s over, I thought then.

It’s looking more and more, though, that Favre will end up playing somewhere in 2008. Peter King thinks that it will happen as does Pat Kirwin on Sirius NFL Radio.

If Favre does indeed want to play, all he has to do is tell the Packers that he is no longer retired and that he intends to report to training camp. They then will have three options: bring him back, trade him, or release him.

The pressure to bring him back would, of course, be overwhelming. Imagine if in July of 2003 that Darrell Green announced that he would like to return for another season and the Redskins said, no thanks, we’re moving forward with the people we have. Now imagine the hue and cry of protest coming from Redskins fans in that situation and multiply it by a factor of about 1,000. That would be the reaction in Wisconsin and around the country if the Packers told Brett Favre to drop dead.

It’s possible, though, that the Packers won’t be so eager to welcome back the living legend. They have gone through the offseason preparing Aaron Rodgers for the role of starting quarterback. The word is that one of the reasons that Favre decided to retire in February is that the Packer organization gave him strong hints that they were ready to move on from the Favre era.

So, let’s say that Green Bay is willing to take the PR hit in the short term and do what they think is best in the long term and let Favre walk.

Are the Redskins shoppers in a market for Favre? And, assuming that he has considerable say over where he goes, would he be interested in coming to Washington?

I’ve heard in a few places that the Skins would be in the picture. As far as I can tell, this was nothing more than speculation, an attempt to connect the dots. Whenever a big-name player is on the market, there are those in the media who will speculate that Dan Snyder will make a play for him.

This, however, might go beyond the usual kneejerk reaction. There are a few reasons why Favre would be a good fit for the Skins and vice versa:

  • He would need to play for a team that employs the West Coast offense. With limited time to prepare, Favre would have to be able to get up the speed in a hurry. That would mean going to a WCO system, one that he could operate in his sleep. Jim Zorn is bringing a West Coast system to the Redskins. He’s from the Mike Holmgren school and Favre had his greatest success
  • He would want to play for a contending team. Favre doesn’t want to come back if he doesn’t have a realistic shot of contending for a title. The problem is that most perennial playoff teams have an established QB. The Redskins have made the playoffs two of the last three years with two different starting quarterbacks in the playoffs and a third playing most of the last year and a half. That’s hardly a settled situation.
  • The Redskins are willing to take a risk. While this offseason has been rather quiet, don’t forget the deal that wasn’t madeā€”the offer of two draft picks for Chad Johnson. If there is an opportunity, the Redskins will listen.

There are very, very few teams that meet these criteria. The Vikings would fit the bill, but the fact that Favre might not want to join a team in the same division as the Packers works against that (certainly, if he gets traded, this destination is out of the question). Baltimore probably was better than its 5-11 record last year and could be called a contender but they don’t run the WCO. There has been talk of Favre going to Carolina but, again, no West Coast offense.

I might be missing another team with the right combination of scheme, quality of surrounding talent, lack of an established QB, and aggressive style to fit the mutual needs of Favre and a new employer, but it’s certainly a short list.

Should they look into bringing Favre aboard, of course, the Redskins would face the same dilemma as do the Packers in regards to the development of their young quarterback. Jason Campbell was drafted just a few picks after Rodgers, as a matter of fact. While Campbell has shown promise, enough for Zorn to anoint him the uncontested starter, he hasn’t played well enough to cement his role. If you’re offered the chance to bring in a Hall of Fame quarterback who has another couple of seasons left in the tank you have to take a serious look at moving Campbell back to the bench.

I have no doubt that Snyder and Vinny Cerrato would kick Campbell to the curb to bring in Bret Favre. Snyder has stated that he won’t bring anyone on to the roster that Zorn does not want.

So, if it comes down to Zorn making the call to OK a deal or spike it, what does a rookie head coach do? Does he cast his lot with Campbell and sink or swim with the untested QB? Or does he go for the Hall of Famer for two years and perhaps start off his head coaching career with a bang?

I don’t mean for this to come across as something that I think should happen or will happen. At this point, it’s an intriguing possibility but as is the case in any deal the devil would be in the details.

But I do think that, in the very near future, there is a very good chance that the Redskins will have to make a choice as to whether or not they will make a play for Brett Favre. It seems likely to me that they will seriously consider the possibility.

  1. Joe in Raleigh - Jul 8, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Seems likely to me, too. They could potentially use the angle that they’re both from Mississippi in an attempt to molify Campbell. Probably won’t work. Favre never claimed to be a mentor to other QBs.

    For the record, the Packers are CRAZY if they let Favre walk and cast their lot with Aaron Rodgers. Imagine the Dolphins dumping Marino because they were anxious to start Jay Feidler era. Or Shanahan parting ways with Elway because he was so excited about young Brian Greise. It’s laughable and it’s exactly what the Packers will be doing.

    On top of that, cutting Brett Favre is a career-limiting move. If the next guy does not immediately play like a star, Thompson and McCarthy will both hit the unemployment line hard. You can’t be responsible for shaming a franchise and, arguably, the entire state and keep your job.

    They would be NUTS to cut or trade Favre. They have one option and that is to roll out the red carpet. Can’t wait to see how it plays out. Should be fun.

  2. Anonymous - Jul 8, 2008 at 4:49 PM

    I will take you off my RSS feed as this, IMHO, is a waste of valuable real-estate on my google home page. Nothing in the (recent) actions of the Redskins would indicate they would have even an interest, let alone make a decision, to pursue Favre. They are too invested in the long term future of Campbell AND Zorn to go for a 1-year quick fix with Favre. Plus, they would erase all credibility they have accrued by showing restraint in the marketplace in the past year.

  3. Rich Tandler - Jul 8, 2008 at 9:15 PM

    Sorry for wasting your home page space, anon. I have two words–Chad Johnson. The Redskins didn’t restrain themselves in that one, they were saved from themselves. If you don’t think they’re on the prowl for something like this you’re fooling yourself.

    If that quick fix (I think it would be two years) led to a Super Bowl appearance, would it be worth it then?

  4. Bart - Jul 9, 2008 at 8:05 PM

    This is complete hogwash. Todd Collins and Jason Campbell are not splitting time. Jason Campbell was injured. There is a reason Jim Zorn was brought in and it was to train Jason Campbell. Why would you bench a man that showed vast improvement in a single off season? His line was in shambles, his WR core did not have a touchdown in 8 games because they were all injured. He was chucking TD’s to James Thrash.

    The entire reason they wanted Chad Johnson was to give Jason Campbell a viable target.

    This move would make no sense.

  5. Katie - Jul 9, 2008 at 8:23 PM

    they will pick up Favre…and it will seem obvious to all in 1 week

  6. Rich Tandler - Jul 9, 2008 at 8:25 PM

    Yes, Zorn was brought in to develop Campbell in part. But nobody could foresee the possibility that a Halll of Fame QB who threw for 4,200 yards last year might be available on the open market.

    Things change. If you can make a move that drastically improve your chances of making the Super Bowl in the next two year, you have to seriously consider it.

  7. Henry - Jul 9, 2008 at 10:05 PM

    If we legitimately have the opportunity to bring in Favre to our team, we have to at least see what it might take. Jason Campbell will still be a valuable backup (he has much to learn still, especially in another new offense) and I think the 1-2 punch of Favre/Campbell far outweighs the 1-2 punch of Campbell/Collins – y’all have to agree with that.

    So we involve Collins in a trade, or we release him and use Brennan as the #3, I honestly think Favre running a familiar WCO under Zorn would flourish this ear. I am not sold on Campbell or Collins as being the QB who is going to take us to the big game this year or next. Favre could – plain and simple.

  8. Skudge - Jul 11, 2008 at 12:13 PM

    I think this is more likely to happen than a lot of others, especially your anonymous and many in the media. And the reason is huge, and something you didn’t mention:

    Cover.

    The next year or two are the Zorn era and the Cerrato era. Those two men are going to be under the microscope. The fans, having just lost Gibbs and their oddly beloved Williams, are going to give only a short leash. If they fail, this ownership team may NEVER regain credibility with the fans.

    But if you can get Favre, then suddenly, this becomes the Redskin’s Favre era, even moreso than Zorn or Cerrato. If they fail under him, it’s because Brett is washed up. Oh well, it was worth a shot. Zorn and Cerrato have something to point to other than their own individual impacts.

    And, let’s face it, don’t you think Favre brings you more wins next season than Campbell? Don”t you think the rest of the team performs better with Favre at QB, knowing Brett wants another ring, and maybe they can all step up their game for one or two seasons and ride his mojo into a Superbowl?

    Regardless of the Wins and Losses, though, I think they’ll see it as safer to gamble Jason Campbell’s career than to gamble Cerrato and Zorn’s careers, if they can land a Brett Farve to tip that balance.

  9. Rich Tandler - Jul 11, 2008 at 12:53 PM

    I did touch on the choice that Zorn might have to make in terms of casting his lot with a prospect who has shown some good and some bad or a Hall of Fame performer at the end of his career. But, you’re right, Skudge, Cerrato’s ass is on the line, too.

    Short-term gain vs. long-term pain.

  10. Jonathan - Jul 17, 2008 at 10:28 PM

    Real question is SHOULD they pick up Favre. What and put Jason Campbell back another year in development? Reminds me of 2000 when they brought in all the wash-ups — no Favre isn’t washed up — but let’s move on. This team made an investment in Jason Campbell and should stick with it and him.

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