Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rumors of Favre Rumors at Vikings Camp: If True, How This Would Affect the NFC North

What? You thought it was over? Rumor has it that a Favre/Vikings deal is imminent according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.

Glazer reports one Viking as saying, "I'm telling you it's already done. Right after the Indy game (first preseason game). I don't think anyone here doesn't think that." Another is reported to have stated, "I don't know if it's done, but I think he'll be in by the third preseason game."

Whether this means that we can expect to see Favre donning the Viking purple, or whether it means only that Favre's face will flash across our television every 20 minutes for the next three weeks is yet to be seen. But Glazer, who claims to be a betting man in his article, is betting on the former.

It's been a crazy couple of days in the NFL and television analysts seem to be confused about which subject to place front and center. They're torn between focusing on Michael Vick's return to football with the Philadelphia Eagles, highlighting Raiders head coach Tom Cable's alleged face-breaking blow to an assistant coach and reverting to their non-stop coverage of the Brett Favre will he/won't he story.

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There's also T.O.'s return to Bills practice, the last minute signing of Stephen Strasburg by the Washington Nationals and the potential 2011 lockout in the NFL, but my guess is that Favre's return will dominate coverage and he'll hold one of his famous news conferences that's meant to clear things up but actually leave us with even more questions than when we began. Seriously, we've reached Episode V of this saga.

If he does end up signing, the most important question becomes: what impact will he have on his new team? How will he impact the Vikings if he steps on the field as the starting quarterback in the season opener? The answer is tremendously, and it has little to do with his place as a top-tier quarterback.

If Brett Favre is a starting quarterback in the league next year he will not throw for 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns, but he will be a major step up from anything the Vikings have at quarterback as they stand now. Of course, he's Brett Favre and accomplishing the unexpected is in his nature, so he very well could throw for 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns, but I wouldn't bet on it. If Favre is in the league next season, expect to see a good showing, but not a great one.

With Favre on their side, however, the Vikings will have a formidable quarterback to throw the ball to their talented crop of young receivers including rookie Percy Harvin, veteran Bernard Berrian and the buzz worthy Jaymar Johnson. Favre will prove to be a step up from Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, both of whom look to be best suited as career backups, albeit fine career backups, rather than starting quarterbacks.

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Without Favre, the Vikings are the third best team in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears (in no particular order). With Favre, the Vikings are the best team in the division, proof of how much the quarterback position means to a team's success.

Of course, if the Vikings brought in a game managing quarterback with a likeness to Jeff Garcia, Gus Frerotte, Trent Dilfer or Brad Johnson, they'd probably still be the team to beat in the NFC North.

Although Jackson threw only two picks in his nine games last season and impressed after being benched following a Week 2 debacle, he still finds himself competing for the starting job with Rosenfels; more proof that the Vikings have yet to find their guy and that Jackson has yet to really impress his coaches enough to secure a starting job with or without Favre.

Like a man with little confidence and few options who continues to come back to his nagging girlfriend, the Vikings are letting their romance with Favre extend for far too long. It would serve the Vikings, and Favre's reputation, well to either kill any possibility of a Favre return, or bring in the almost 40-year-old quarterback once and for all.

Written By Danny Hobrock