JEFF: Broadway Brett
By Jeff Falconio
Way back in late April, 2005 Dan O'Donnell, Wayne Larrivee and I were assessing the Packers draft, the first under Ted Thompson, and we all agreed that Thompson's legacy would be tied to the selection of Aaron Rodgers with the first round pick. That discussion could not have been more on the money.
With that pick, many felt that Thompson would be known as the guy who ran Brett Favre out of town. Well, in a way that turned out to be true. Favre wore out his welcome, or more appropriately his welcome back, and a move had to be made. I've said for awhile that neither side handled this well and after the lengthy meetings between Favre and Coach McCarthy it became clear that Favre's time in Green Bay was over. Still, Thompson will be the one known as the guy behind the whole thing. The only way to make people forget about the trade is for Rodgers and company to win the NFC North this year. Even then, there will always be a few who will blame Thompson for anything no matter how much the organization wins.
I still believe that even without Favre the Packers have a solid chance at winning the division. Minnesota and Chicago have to prove that they have enough talent in place to win the division. Meanwhile, with Favre moving to New York, there's a feeling the Jets might return to their playoff status of 2006. Quarterback has long been a problem for the Jets as Chad Pennington was never healthy enough and now is at a point where he's out of arm strength and out of a job. But what made Favre great was his ability to dictate an offense that he knew inside and out. By going to the Jets, Favre will have to re-establish his bearings and that may take longer than just the preseason. His first big test will come in the form of a late afternoon showdown with the New England Patriots in week two.
So the divorce between Broadway Brett and the Packers is finally over. It's a shame it had to end this way. Rather than remembering Favre for the great resurgence he had in 2007, Packer Nation will instead have to debate who was right and who was wrong throughout the rest of 2008. One thing is certain, Ted Thompson will be a marked man if Aaron Rodgers doesn't look like a quarterback ready for prime time.