Another day, another way for Jets fans to twist and turn: According to the NEWARK STAR-LEDGER, team owner Woody Johnson and GM Mike Tannenbaum have tired of the Brett Favre comeback storyline and just want him to retire already.
(A future entry in THE FAIL BLOG: Brett Favre Super Jet.)
Here’s what an anonymous Jets insider told Dave Hutchinson of the STAR-LEDGER:
“If Favre says he’s not coming back, I don’t know if that would be a great disappointment. … I think Woody and Mike are upset (with Favre’s late-season play) to a point, especially Woody. But I think they have to handle the situation with care. They’re not going to say publicly they don’t want Favre back, but privately I’m not so sure.”
It’s a stunning shift from the team’s approach before the season, when Favre was viewed as a panacea to both becoming competitive and financially lucrative. When Favre seemed to hit stride in midseason, Jets officials were so busy slapping each other — and NFL execs — on the back in the tunnel under Gilette Stadium they had no time to comprehend a potential meltdown.
Now that the inevitable “meltdown by hubris” has come, the team is left with a precarious diplomatic situation, with no real blueprint on how to act (note to Woody Johnson: Don’t follow the “Green Bay 2008″ program. Didn’t go over so well).
Still, the desire to rid the team of all things Favre is a bit puzzling. Sure, he threw a league-high 22 interceptions, but he’s far and away the best quarterback the team has on its roster. Barring a serious free agent splash — and who are the Jets really going to bring in that would be a sizable upgrade? — the team would enter camp with Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge competing for the team’s starting position (insiders say that Ratliff has shown the most promise, for what it’s worth).
And while there are rumors of locker room unrest because of Favre’s alleged “aloofness”, he’s more marketable than the rest of the team combined. Add to that the fact that backlash against any team trying to torpedo the waning years of a Hall of Fame quarterback’s career will certainly be pretty significant.
So what do the Jets do? They sit and wait while King Favre makes his decision … again. The team wants and expects to know if he’ll play again next year before they hire a new coach, which means they want to know within the next three to four weeks, in all likelihood. Not that such a timetable will restrict Favre’s personal timetable, of course.