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Ted Thompson and Brett Favre

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There are a couple of articles at PackersNews and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about QB Brett Favre's comments regarding WR Randy Moss.

Tom Silverstein reported that the Packers had worked out a deal that would have cost a 5th round pick and a guaranteed $3 million contract for Moss. If that deal could have been made, then the Packers should have made it, but New England came in with a high 4th round that was originally San Francisco's pick for Moss. The Packers 4th round pick was lower, so they would have had to offer a 3rd round pick. Giving up a 3rd round pick for Moss would have been a problem because if he had worked out, it was only a one year contract and the Packers would have to give him a bigger contract to keep him if he wanted to stay at all. If he hadn't worked out, then a 3rd round pick was wasted on a one year bust. Either way it would have been harder to part with a 3rd round pick in that scenario than only a 5th round pick.

Maybe Moss is done. He is about to turn 30 years old and maybe the last three down seasons isn't a case of a great player in a bad situation but a player in decline. GM Ted Thompson won't let anyone know his opinion of Moss because he can't talk about players on other teams. Done or not done is only speculation and we won't know until the end of 2007.

But I'm really not interested in the alternate Moss scenarios. What really got my attention about Favre's comments is his relationship with Packers management. Here is what Favre said:

"I just want to win; maybe I see things the wrong way. I don't want to ruffle any feathers and I want people to respect me. Sometimes I think it's hard for them to let Brett go. They might think that we pay him a lot of money, but he still gives us the best chance to win. I've never been told that, but there are times when I wonder if I'm the odd man out here and they just don't know how to tell me."
It has seemed obvious that Thompson wanted to tear the Packers down and rebuild with his own coaches and players since the end of 2005. That might be good for some teams, but the Packers had just won three consecutive division titles before Thompson walked in the door. In 2005 he let three very important players walk away (LG Mike Wahle, RG Marco Rivera, and FS Darren Sharper), then the Packers best player from 2004 is lost for the season (WR Javon Walker), then RB Ahman Green is injured for most of the season, and all the free agents Thompson signed were busts. Every team in the NFL has to deal with free agency and injuries, but few teams have bled that much talent that quickly. Mike Sherman is made the scapegoat and Thompson won't even be honest with him and uses the old "we needed to go in a different direction" line. Thompson didn't want his predecessor hanging around Green Bay and he wanted to bring in his own guy. He had drafted Favre's replacement in QB Aaron Rodgers, so now is the time to start completely clean and let Favre retire. He can't release or trade Favre because Thompson's career in Green Bay would be on borrowed time if it looks like he shoved Favre out. Instead he hires a rookie head coach who wasn't a successful offensive coordinator and sets Favre up with a rookie offensive line. Favre probably shocked Thompson when he announced he wasn't retiring after 2005.

Favre is the odd man out and Thompson wants him to retire, but he can't force him to do it. Thompson did make up for his awful 2005 season by doing very well in the 2006 draft and free agency, but 2007 resembles 2005 because he has let veterans go, he didn't sign anyone in free agency, and he reached for some draft choices. Maybe Thompson is better at making decisions than Favre and maybe what has been done over the last three free agency periods and in the draft are the best long-term decisions, but his decisions have really hurt the Packers ability to compete over the previous two seasons. He should be honest with everyone and it doesn't seem like he is honest with anyone.