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Muscle Sport Magazine

Saying Goodbye To Favre Gave Packers the Springboard to Super Bowl XLV

Ted Thompson was caught between a rock and a hard place back in the summer of 2008. The Packers general manager was ready to move on without the franchise player and hand the reins to who was an unknown at the time. That would have been difficult in  its own rite, but then Brett Favre changed his mind.

Green Bay’s favorite son dried his retirement announcement tears and had the itch again. He wanted to suit up and be an NFL quarterback once again. But the problem was that the plan to go with Aaron Rodgers had already been put in place.

The former first round draft choice had played the good soldier and bided his time. If Thompson would have brought Favre back, Rodgers’s attitude would most likely have changed drastically. To back-up a legend for three years and remain quiet was one thing, but to go through an entire offseason as the named starter to only have that ripped away as the preseason was about to commence was another.

Head coach Mike McCarthy was in Rodgers’ corner, so that made it easier that they were all in agreement that it was time to move on. Thompson had Favre in his control and eventually traded him to the New York Jets for a conditional draft pick, one that turned out to be a third rounder in 2009 that they packaged to move up and select linebacker Clay Matthews. Not a bad deal at all.

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There were a number of critics who had a field day bashing Thompson, but he did what he felt was right for the franchise and it turned out to be the right move. Favre had an inconsistent season with the Jets and then played the retirement/out-of-retirement game again to sign with the Minnesota Vikings, the team he wanted to play for all along when he changed his mind the first time.

Rodgers seem to take a little stab at Favre in a roundabout way when he commented, “The whole organization stood by me and they told the truth, and I told the truth, and we moved on together.”

While Rodgers was eclipsing 4,000 passing yards in each of the three seasons since Favre left Wisconsin, Favre had one amazing season (2009) and one this past year that was injury filled and not nearly as effective. It appears that he has finally played his last game while Rodgers led his team to the Super Bowl.

It would have been easy for Thompson to welcome Fare back and deal with Rodgers later. The heir apparent was still under contract in 2008 but it would have been a tough sell to convince him to stick around after that. The way everything turned out, Rodgers and Matthews became integral parts on both sides of the ball that propelled Green Bay to the level they are at today.

“In some ways sitting for three years and then playing is helpful,” Thompson said of his quarterback. “That’s the way it was back in the day. You always brought quarterbacks in and you developed them for about two or three years before you actually played them  – that’s hard to do anymore.”

As Favre finally rides into the sunset, Rodgers hasn’t even hit his prime years yet as an NFL quarterback. Second guessing? Not in the least bit for Ted Thompson.

Photo by Bill Menzel

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