Have The Packers Ever Gone Through Anything Like The Brett Favre Retirement Saga Before?

Yes.

This article has probably been delayed because he retired last year, but Cliff Christl has written a great article about all the times over the years that Packer greats have retired and unretired. In all the cases mentioned by Christl, the team either convinced the player to return, or released him from his contract. By not wanting Favre back and not releasing him, the Packers franchise is doing something they've never done before. Christl mentions a lot of great examples, but these two are the best and involve two of the greatest Packers ever:

When the late Reggie White decided to unretire in 2000, the Packers released their future Hall of Fame defensive end from his contract...

In fact, Vince Lombardi's retirement as coach of the Packers and Favre's as a player have followed parallel tracks. Lombardi announced his retirement in an emotional press conference soon after Super Bowl II and essentially cited burnout as the reason. And, by all accounts, he regretted his decision by the time training camp arrived five months later. When the 1968 season ended, he asked out of his contract as general manager of the Packers and bolted to Washington to coach again.

He also mentions why the Packers are acting this way now: the Minnesota Vikings.

The hunch here is that there has been only one team for which Favre really wants to play, and that's the Minnesota Vikings. And the reason being is that's the only place where he'd have a legitimate shot at winning another Super Bowl.

I think a lot of people share the view that the best place he can land is Minnesota, but I think Tampa is going to better next season, especially with Favre. Tampa's offense and defense are run by two very good coaches. Plus Tampa's young offensive line really took a step forward last season, and they signed free agent C Jeff Faine to make it even better.

Second, could an upswing for the Tampa Bay offensive line be right around the corner? This was the NFL’s youngest line in 2007. Tackles Jeremy Trueblood and Donald Penn are coming into their third NFL seasons, as is guard Davin Joseph (who impressed me most of all in this game), while guard Arron Sears was a rookie in 2007. The acquisition of center Jeff Faine from New Orleans makes a strong position even stronger, as the Saints finished first in the NFL in Adjusted Line Yards up the middle despite Deuce McAllister’s season-ending injury.

Minnesota has better receivers and arguably the best running back in the NFL, but Tampa's RB Earnest Graham is a good back too, and while Minnesota's defense got better this offseason with DE Jared Allen, Tampa had a top 5 defense last season.

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