Here's progress: Minnesota won't rule out Favre
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- I take back what I said earlier about rookie minicamps. It's been a pretty interesting day here at Minnesota's practice facility, where not only did we get word of Percy Harvin's hospitalization but also heard coach Brad Childress comment for the first time on the potential availability of retired quarterback Brett Favre.
Childress' key quote is in our ESPN.com news story: "We talk about everything. So yeah, I'm sure we'll talk about that."
Favre wanted to play for Minnesota last summer, but Green Bay officials had other ideas and traded him to the New York Jets. Although Favre announced his retirement for the second time in February, he also convinced the Jets to release him this week from their reserve/retired list -- a move that effectively makes him a free agent should he make the totally unexpected and radically out-of-character decision to pursue his playing options for 2009.
I have a hard time believing the Vikings would turn down the opportunity to link up with Favre if it comes to that. (Which, of course, seems highly unlikely and totally speculative.) Childress remained notably noncommittal on the topic during a series of questions Friday, even throwing in a phrase akin to Favre's favorite "at this time." (Childress said he was mostly focused on his three quarterbacks "right now.")
Asked if he was intrigued by the possibility of Favre's availability, Childress said:
"I think the thing there is we've had our heads down so hard here at the draft, and after the draft signing free agents, and after that getting ready for this minicamp, you really [don't have time]. ... I look at the waiver wire every night, but we really haven't even had a chance to even talk about that. So our focus has been on the guys we've signed and getting ready for this and just finishing up the draft stuff."
Childress was then asked if he considered Favre interesting enough to talk about. After all, Favre said in February that he likely would need surgery on his right biceps if he wanted to play again.
Childress: "We haven't. It doesn't mean we won't. ... We talk about everything, so yeah, I'm sure we'll talk about that."
Finally, Childress was asked if he's spoken with Favre since his release.
Childress: "Like I said, I haven't had time to do much, aside from reeling in this draft. ... I'm more focused on the guys that are here, participating in the offseason program. I'm more focused on our three quarterbacks right now, Tarvaris [Jackson] and Sage [Rosenfels] and [John David Booty], who are there progressing through our offseason program."
Two big questions remain:
- Whether Favre ultimately will want to play.
- If he can nurse his arm through another season.
Our friends at sportsradiointerviews.com offer this link to an ESPN radio interview with former teammate Mark Chmura, who said you can "take it to the bank" that Favre won't play in 2009.
Chmura: "Because I think he was embarrassed about last year, I really do. I think the embarrassing part was the way he finished. And I think he's coming to the realization that hey, I can't do this anymore. I can't. I'm going to be 40 in October, and I just can't do this and I'm starting to look a little foolish."
I'm not sure if Favre will view a short stint in Minnesota that way or not. But if he warms to the idea, the Vikings will be ready for him.
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