Well, "tentative" signing. First off, let's look sat what people have been saying over the past few weeks...
"We realize, like he did, that when training camp came around that it was in or out and we're very happy with what we have here."
-Minnesota owner Zygi Wilf
"He's gone his way, and we're going our way."
- Minnesota coach Brad Childress
"We have to throw this out the window. At least the circus is over. We can have peace of mind. We've been put through the wringer. But it is what it is."
- Minnesota TE Visanthe Shiancoe
"I have firm faith in our management and our coaching staff that once camp starts and we don’t have a decision then I’m pretty sure it’s going to be dropped, it’s going to be over with and we’re going to move forward with the guys that we have."
- Minnesota DE Jared Allen
"Where does it leave us? It doesn't leave us nowhere. We move on."
- Minnesota RB Adrian Peterson
"I'm happy it's over with and it's good it happened before training camp to give us an extra day to catch our breath."
- Minnesota QB Sage Rosenfels
And the most recent (and my personal favorite),
No, no, no, no, no. The Favre thing is over, even if folks like Glazer are still relying on him to draw attention to their articles. There's no going back from the moment in the end of July when Favre told the Vikings he wanted to stay in retirement -- he's more than welcome to play for another team, but just not the Vikings.
Daily Norseman's Anthony21
Let's plow through this, bullet-point style, with regard to everyone connected to the latest turn in Favregeddon:
- Zygi Wilf looks desperate. With the current economy, looming stadium issues (including the fight for a new one), and a fanbase that hated Favre for 17 years (including a spike during this summer), Wilf needs a short-term boost. That boost turns out to be shelling out an 8-figure salary for what figures to be a one-year deal. Look for an increase in both ticket prices and revenue in the next few weeks.
That said, Wilf made the obvious choice. He's wanted Favre for a long time, and now he's got him.
- Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson have to be pissed now, if they weren't before when the Favre talk started. They dealt with it in their own way, with Rosenfels saying all the right things and Jackson saying barely anything at all, but I cannot fathom what they're feeling right now.
For Sage, who was a part-time starter in Houston last year, I would feel somewhat betrayed. After all, the team traded for him, not the other way around. And it was he who started the first preseason game and put up good numbers. And yes, he hurt his ankle, but it's not a serious injury. So why is the team's first reaction to renege on their stance regarding Favre? Suddenly that fourth-round pick looks like a huge steal for the Texans, who received the draft choice for a player who might not even play a single snap this year.
For Tarvaris, the feeling of betrayal and abandonment must be much stronger. He was the favored son of Brad Childress, who lobbied for him to be drafted in the 2nd round when he was slotted to go in the 4th. And when Tarvaris played poorly or got injured, Childress always had his back. Now, it feels like the coaching staff has given up on him.
- Leading Viking veterans, including Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, and Antoine Winfield, must feel good about themselves. After all, they openly lobbied for Favre to sign, both showing their commitment to improving the team by any means necessary and their disdain for the quarterbacks they had on the roster.
Unfortunately, these leaders are in the minority. There's 53 players on a gameday roster, and this elite group only makes up five or six individuals. The rest of the players have thus far dealt with the three-month courtship of Favre, then accepted that he wouldn't sign and put their faith in the spirit of competition. After all, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels were brought in to compete for the starting job, which is the fairest way to determine the starter.
But in waltzes Favre, and out marches the respect of the Vikings' proletariat. Just because they're not leaders of the caliber of Allen or Winfield doesn't mean they won't share their opinions with their peers. Just look at Bobby Wade.
Any leader will tell you that the key to success is unity. Right now, I have severe doubts on whether or not the Viking locker room can achieve any kind of unity, especially if Lord Favre resorts to his individualist tendencies that caused so much tension in the Jets' locker room.
- Brad Childress easily comes out looking the worst in this situation. He has ruined whatever credibility he had over this last summer. First he supported the quarterbacks he had. Then he cast his lot in with Favre, who backed off. But that's alright, Childress was perfectly content with Jackson and Rosenfels, to the point of publicly declaring that Favre's decision was final for Minnesota.
Now, all the waffling he's done will come back to haunt him because he wouldn't stand firm to what he said a few weeks ago. Those players cannot take Childress at his word, because his word means nothing. Add that to his well-documented list of faults as a head coach, and you've got the ingredients for a mutiny.
- As for Brett Favre himself? I already made my feelings on him clear, but I'll take a sampling of my own writing:
This past summer revealed Brett Favre for the monster he has turned into: an attention-loving homewrecker that cannot stand to be away of the spotlight and out of mainstream conversation. He nearly brought the Packers to their knees in 2007, which would have robbed us of Aaron Rodgers in 2008 and beyond. He conned the New York Jets into thinking he was their savior until his 39-year old body broke down. And now he has disrupted the offseason of another team, which is even more egregious with Tavaris Jackson's recent knee injury and Sage Rosenfels' reported inability to learn the offense.
At this point, it's too soon to tell any of these things. Everything is speculation until Favre suits up and puts in the work he's tried so hard to avoid. I will say one thing: I cannot wait to read Viking fan Drew Magary's response, after this little doozy not more than three weeks ago.
Mark your calendars for both October 5th and November 1st, 2009. Favre as a Viking playing his old team on ESPN? I'm pretty sure that's Bristol HQ's ultimate fantasy, as long as they can use flex scheduling to usurp the Nov. 1 game from Fox.
It's going to get a little crazy out there. Brace yourselves.