Jets Land Favre, But Will He Help?
The Jets acquired future Hall-of-Famer Brett Favre from the Packers, but many doubt that the 38-year-old quarterback will make the team a Super Bowl contender.
Five months after announcing his retirement, Brett Favre has been traded to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick. The deal ends a month-long dispute between Favre and the Packers, who refused to let the legendary quarterback return to the team.
Favre almost became a Jet 17 years ago. Picking 34th in the 1991 NFL Draft, the Jets were prepared to trade spots with the Cardinals, who had the 32nd pick. However, the Cardinals backed out of the deal at the last minute, allowing the Falcons—picking 33rd—to draft Favre.
“I thought he was the best player in the draft that year, 1991, and he’s proven that,” says Ron Wolf, the Jets’ assistant general manager at the time. “He’s even better than the best pick. He’s a rare pick. To me, that was the easy part.”
Wolf would later become the Packers GM and trade for Favre, who became one of the greatest and most popular Packers players ever. A certain Hall-of-Famer, Favre retired in March, citing the “mental wear and tear” of the game in a teary goodbye.
The Packers were unwilling to take Favre back or to trade him to the division-rival Vikings. Late Wednesday night, it appeared that Favre was going to the Buccaneers, but the Jets swooped in.
The New York tabloids have celebrated the deal and declared Favre to be “Broadway Brett.” The New York Post’s Steve Serby says, “He gives the Jets their biggest star since Namath, gives the Jets their best chance to overcome Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, makes them a legitimate Super Bowl contender.”
The New York Times’s William Rhoden and New York Daily News’s Gary Myers write that the deal puts enormous pressure on Jets coach Eric Mangini and GM Mike Tannenbaum to win this year. “It’s one thing to use Pennington’s arm and Clemens’s youth as alibi,” says Rhoden. “Now you have the great Brett Favre and there are no more excuses.”
Whether Favre will help the Jets on the field is up for debate, but he will certainly help them off it. The Jets, 4-12 last season and playing in the shadows of the Super Bowl champion Giants, are now relevant again.
“Brett Favre does not put the Jets into the Super Bowl and Favre does not just show up in a different kind of football green and make the Jets better than the Patriots or the Chargers or even the Colts,” writes the New York Daily News’s Mike Lupica. “What Favre does is make the Jets a team to watch again, and that is enough for now.”