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Tuesday, February 23, 2010
FavreWatch: Leber calls for 'quick' decision

By Kevin Seifert
ESPN.com

Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett flashed a knowing smile Monday night during a joint appearance with Minnesota linebacker Ben Leber on the NFL Network.

Leber
Favre
Quarterback Brett Favre’s future was at the top of their discussion. Leber noted the Vikings’ best interests would be served by a quick decision from Favre. Barnett responded:

“It’s better for him to make the decision faster, obviously so [the Vikings] can do something. But I doubt that he’s going to do that.”

Barnett can say that from experience, having lived through several “will he or won’t he” offseasons in Green Bay. Like the Packers, the Vikings have given Favre some space since the end of the season.

But a month removed from the NFC Championship Game, Leber offered a professional but strong message that I assume reflects the thinking of most Vikings decision-makers.

“We would love to have the guy back,” Leber said. “My gut feeling is that he is going to come back, and I hope that my gut is right.

“But I think a respectable timetable is to let us know as early as possible. With everything that we have, the ingredients that we have on this team -- [and] what we can hopefully do next year -- give us the time to maybe do something in the draft, whether it be trading picks or whatever, and getting somebody in.

“I think waiting all the way to the end is going to be detrimental to this team. I think he’s going to make a decision quick, and I hope he does.”

The Vikings’ worst-case scenario is finding out that Favre will retire when it’s too late to move to Plan B. (Or is it finding out that Favre will retire, moving to Plan B, and then fielding a summer phone call that he has changed his mind? I can’t decide.)

I thought it was interesting that Leber suggested the Vikings would need to make a move to acquire a replacement if Favre doesn’t play. I agree with his assessment, but it glosses over incumbent backups Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. After seeing what the Vikings’ offense accomplished last season with Favre, I imagine it would be hard for some veterans to accept that comedown.

As always, stay tuned.