Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Crossing off my remaining items on the "In Case Brett Favre Stays Retired" list ...
What does Favre's decision do for his relationship with Green Bay and its fans? I don't think his rapport with the organization changed much during this dalliance with Minnesota. (It would be hard for it to worsen.) But there are at least some Packers fans who couldn't stomach the possibility that Favre would play for the Vikings and lost respect for him as a result.
Ultimately, however, this episode will fade into the shadows of 16 mostly thrilling seasons with the Packers. I don't know if Favre will ever become a paid organizational mascot, as once proposed, but there's no doubt he'll one day have his No. 4 retired in a mushy ceremony at Lambeau Field.
You might have seen the NFL Network reveal that Favre told former coach Steve Mariucci that he plans to continue running and throwing this summer. That's all we need to keep his name in circulation every time an NFL team needs a quarterback at any point this season.
I have serious doubts about whether Minnesota would give him a second chance, barring a series of injuries or another disaster. But that doesn't mean another team wouldn't consider it.
How will Minnesota ownership view coach Brad Childress after this episode? As the central figure in a daring and valiant effort to improve the team? Or as the guy who lost a calculated bet that eventually threatened the psyche of a defending division champion?
Realistically, it would be hard for owner Zygi Wilf to blame anyone when his own zeal for Favre was unmatched. Wilf has long been a huge fan of Favre and wanted to sign him as much as anyone in the organization.
Childress' vulnerability lies in how necessary the Favre pursuit was. During his first three years on the job, Childress has been unable to develop or find even a semi-permanent answer at the game's most important position. He is now left conducting an underwhelming training camp competition between quarterbacks Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels.
When the Vikings take the field Sept. 13 at Cleveland, who will be their starting quarterback? Before the Favre saga began, I believed it was Jackson's job to lose. Childress has invested substantially in his development and, after all, he ended last season as the team's starter.
Rosenfels did nothing in spring drills to suggest he is clearly better than Jackson, but the two will have plenty of time to hash it out in training camp. For what it's worth, Rosenfels' personality makes him a better candidate than Jackson to have maintained his mental focus amid public chaos.
What does this mean for the NFC North race? I'm on record projecting that Chicago's acquisition of quarterback Jay Cutler makes the Bears preseason favorites to win the division. I certainly don't think the Vikings have emerged from this episode as a stronger team, so I have no reason to change my preseason suggestion. We'll reconvene on this issue after training camp.