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Favre to retire, again
Posted Feb. 10 at 11:11 PM
Brett Favre is retiring, again, and although you can never say never, particularly with the season still a long way away, it sounds like it's for good this time.
According to a report at ESPN.com, Favre told his agent to tell the Jets he was retiring, and indicated as much in an email to ESPN's Ed Werder -- a recent favorite for personal messages from Favre. You can't rule out Favre changing his mind again -- I own the guy in a dynasty league and probably won't drop him until right before the start of the season -- but it sounds like he knows he's through. A Favre quote from the article: "It sucks getting old.''
Those thinking that this announcement suggests Favre is trying to get released so he can join another team, say the Vikings, as has been speculated by some media types, probably shouldn't hold out hope. The Jets can get cap relief for Favre's contract simply by doing what the Packers did a year ago: place him on the reserve/retired list. Should Favre change his mind and want to come back, the Jets would still own his rights for next season. They're not going to release him; they don't have to. If Favre opts to come back, it will be with the Jets, or with a team they trade him to (which can't be an NFC North team, since that would result in the Jets owing the Packers further draft pick compensation).
Without Favre, the Jets might pursue a veteran quarterback -- Byron Leftwich has been speculated -- when the free-agency period begins. They could also use a high draft pick on a quarterback, perhaps trading up from their current spot (No. 17) to get one of the consensus top quarterbacks, Southern Cal's Mark Sanchez or Georgia's Matthew Stafford. They won't be in the mix to trade for New England's Matt Cassel; no way the Patriots deal him to their division rivals.
New York has three quarterbacks on its roster: Kellen Clemens, Erik Ainge, and Brett Ratliff. Of the three, Ratliff might have the most shot-in-the-dark upside for dynasty leaguers with sizable rosters. Clemens has been mostly unimpressive in NFL action, completing only 52 percent of his passes and throwing twice as many interceptions (10) as touchdowns (5) when he got into the lineup two years ago. Ainge (the team's fifth-rounder last season) didn't show much last preseason, ended up on injured reserve, and was suspended four games for use of a banned substance. The undrafted Ratliff, in comparison, looked pretty good last preseason, completing 68 percent of his passes and throwing 4 TDs versus 1 interception -- there was some talk he could surpass Clemens for the backup job. Still, most of his action came against backups; the odds of him starting for the Jets come September are remote at best. The Jets appear to like him, but that doesn't mean they'd count on him as a future starter.
As for Favre, I'll direct you to my last-page column in the magazine a year ago. Despite him coming back and finishing things up with the Jets, it's more or less accurate today. Except I got to see him play a couple more times in person: a great game against Arizona, and a not-so-great one against Buffalo -- which should, however, go down as his last NFL win.
Barring another comeback, of course.
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