One franchise savior quarterback entered the Jets fold this weekend, so it was time for another one to receive an official kick to the rear end. The Jets released Brett Favre on Monday, which seems like a bit of meaningless paperwork shuffling until you take a deeper look.
For one thing, Favre requested his release from the Jets. That means he is free to sign with any other team in the league that might want him, with no need for the protracted mess that accompanied his ultimate depature from Green Bay last summer. Then you take a look at his statement after the release. The bolded emphasis added here.
"[Favre's agent] Bus [Cook] and Mike [Tannenbaum, Jets general manager] have been talking about this for a while," Favre said in a statement. "Nothing has changed. At this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football."
Would someone who wasn't at the very least entertaining the notion of returning to football throw "at this time" into the statement? Not if that someone is also eager to be released when it just so happens that the Minnesota Vikings, the team he wanted to play for in 2008, still needs a quarterback to fill the remaining hole on a solid team.
So, as you see, it's not really a formality at all. There are salary cap implications to his return, and it would cost them three first-round picks to trade him to the NFC North. Outside of Minnesota, there doesn't seem to be anyone desperate enough to get into bed with Favre in 2009 which makes the move a necessity. When you're dealing with someone who can't be taken at their word, it's best not to put yourself in a position to believe him.