Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brett Favre Signs with the Minnesota Vikings

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Brett Favre signed a two-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings (source: here). If Favre is on the Vikings' opening day roster for 2009 he is guaranteed to earn $12 million. If Favre is on the Vikings' opening day roster for 2010 he is guaranteed to earn $13 million. This news comes several weeks after Favre’s highly hyped self-imposed deadline of July 31st, on which he promised he would make a final decision about returning to the NFL once and for all (for those of you who can’t keep it straight, he decided to stay retired). So what does all of this mean? For one thing, it means that the unending coverage dedicated to Favre retiring, un-retiring, and retiring again will be back in full swing now as Favre un-retires once more.

Favre’s return really should catch no one by surprise. Throughout his career, Favre has been very reluctant to have any type of medical procedure. Then, this off-season, he undergoes elective arthroscopic surgery on his throwing shoulder despite being in “retirement” (source: here). We should have seen this coming.

Vikings fans better hope that the surgery helped him. Favre’s reputation for delivering victory in the clutch has come under fire in recent years. Over the last four seasons when his team was within 7 points of their opponents in the 4th quarter, Favre threw 29 interceptions and only 19 touchdowns. Furthermore, Favre’s last pass as a Green Bay Packer was an interception in overtime of the 2008 NFC Championship game in Green Bay. Last season, Favre had nine 3rd quarter interceptions and seven 4th quarter interceptions, which ranked worst in the NFL for starting quarterbacks. It’s been a while since we’ve seen Favre’s trademark ability to make big plays under immense pressure.

There are several factors in Favre’s favor, though. First, Favre certainly will benefit from playing 10 games in a domed stadium, if he plays the full season, that is. Furthermore, he will only have one cold weather game to endure (December 28th at Chicago). If Favre stays healthy, this makes the Vikings the presumptive favorite to win the NFC North, which now boasts the best quarterbacks of any division in the NFL. On the other hand, Favre missed almost half of the Vikings’ training camp. That can’t be good for his physical fitness. Also, questions remain about a nagging bicep injury, too.

The Favre retirement story has been covered from just about every angle recently (and I suppose I am contributing to the madness with this post). People are asking, is Favre the missing piece to making the Vikings a Super Bowl team? How will this impact Favre’s legacy? Will his consecutive starting streak be intact at the end of 2009? There are lots of questions surrounding Favre’s decision to return to the NFL, and the answers to these questions will be played out over the next several months. There’s no question, though, that everyone will be watching.

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