Commentary

Now that Favre has requested freedom, consider his 32 options

Brett Favre wants the Packers to grant him a release. Which teams would be the most ideal fits for him? Bill Williamson considers the possibilities.

Originally Published: July 11, 2008
By Bill Williamson | ESPN.com

Aaron Rodgers/Brett FavreAP Photo/Morry GashWho's got next in the Packers' QB rotation? Aaron Rodgers (left) has done his time as a backup. But Brett Favre (right) mightbethisclose to resuming his playing career. If Favre does return but is not a Packer, where might he fit?
Editor's note: This column originally was published July 5.

Now that Brett Favre has asked the Green Bay Packers for his release so he can play elsewhere, the search for a compatible team has hit a new level.

The Packers -- who had been focused on developing Aaron Rodgers at quarterback the past four months since Favre's retirement announcement -- will have to decide whether to try to keep Favre, trade him or release him. The most likely scenario would be a trade, which would allow the Packers to control where Favre plays. With every other NFC North team likely interested in Favre, the Packers would be silly to release him, and thus allow him to stay in the division. It's a tough call, given the fallout if the Packers don't try to talk Favre out of his release request.

Put the odds of him playing for the Packers at 6-1.

The following is a look at the odds of Favre winding up with each of the 31 other teams in the NFL:

Ideal Destinations

At 6-1, we have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jon Gruden loves collecting quarterbacks, and this would be his greatest catch of all. If Favre becomes available, it wouldn't be a shocker if the Buccaneers make a run at him. And if they do, Tampa could be attractive to Favre. This is another team to watch.

7-1 Carolina Panthers: This could be an intriguing possibility, although on Saturday The Charlotte Observer reported that Panthers general manager Marty Hurney dismissed an Internet report that Favre was interested in playing for Carolina. That said, Favre probably would like to play in the South, and the Panthers are a good quarterback away from being a solid playoff contender. Jake Delhomme can be effective, but he is coming off elbow surgery. If Favre comes back and is no longer a Packer, keep an eye on the Panthers.

8-1 Baltimore Ravens: This could be a real possibility if Favre really wants to play this season. Baltimore is a decent team in need of a quarterback. Sure, the Ravens took Delaware QB Joe Flacco in the first round of the April draft. But no one would blame the Ravens for holding off on the Flacco era in favor of Favre for a year or two. If Favre wants to come back, Baltimore could be a place to consider.

25-1 Minnesota Vikings: This is the perfect landing spot for Favre. The Vikings are the best team in need of a quarterback. The addition of Favre would make Minnesota an instant Super Bowl contender. But there's a problem: The Packers likely would never let that happen.

Other Possible Options

30-1 Houston Texans: This could be a sleeper team. The Texans are on the verge of good things, but they are not exactly settled at quarterback. Sage Rosenfels is waiting in the wings should Matt Schaub have issues. If Favre were available, then Texans coach Gary Kubiak, a quarterback lover, would be tempted.

30-1 New York Jets: Seeing Favre in the green-and-white would invoke memories of Joe Namath, and Favre playing in the Big Apple would make for a great story. But it's unlikely. The Jets have a lot to prove before they can be considered a contender again. It's doubtful Favre would be interested.

30-1 San Francisco 49ers: If the 49ers were just a little better, this would be an interesting spot. But Favre likely would deem the 49ers too far away from contention to entertain the thought.

30-1 Washington Redskins: You can never put anything past the Redskins, but with Jason Campbell apparently healthy and ready to continue his development, it wouldn't make sense for the Redskins to look at Favre. But they've done things in the past that didn't make sense, either.

35-1 Atlanta Falcons: Wouldn't it be ironic if Favre ended his career where it started? The Falcons could use him, delaying the Matt Ryan era. But there's little chance Atlanta, which is still far from being a contender, would appeal to Favre at this point.

35-1 Kansas City Chiefs: On paper, the Chiefs would love to have Favre. He would fix their quarterback woes for the short term. But this is not a good match. The Chiefs want to get younger, and Favre wants to win.

35-1 Miami Dolphins: The Dolphins are surely in need of a quarterback. Rookie Chad Henne will get his chance. But the Dolphins probably would love to have a vet like Favre to show Henne the way. But would Favre want to be a Dolphin at this point?

More Remote

40-1 Philadelphia Eagles: It's about a year too early for the Favre-Eagles pairing. Donovan McNabb could be on his way out in Philly, but not now. Eagles coach Andy Reid has a history with Favre and it would make sense in a year, but not now.

45-1 Oakland Raiders: This could be a good spot for Favre because JaMarcus Russell probably could use more seasoning, but the Raiders are too far from contending for Favre to want to be part of Raider Nation.

50-1 Chicago Bears: The Bears could use Favre and they likely will make a run at him if he becomes available. But the Bears are a long ways away and have few offensive weapons. Favre would have to be desperate to join the Bears.

50-1 Detroit Lions: Favre would be an upgrade over Jon Kitna, but the Lions need a younger quarterback, not an older one. This team isn't close enough to contending for Favre to make sense for either party.

50-1 Jacksonville Jaguars: David Garrard fits the Jaguars' system well and management is committed to him. If he were to suffer an early preseason injury and Favre still had the itch to play, the on-the-verge Jaguars would be a great fit.

50-1 St. Louis Rams: Marc Bulger is the man in St. Louis and the Rams are in a rebuilding phase. This wouldn't work.

Real Long Shots

60-1 Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals have a young quarterback in Matt Leinart and an old quarterback in Kurt Warner. Where would Favre fit?

60-1 New Orleans Saints: If Drew Brees weren't a Saint, this would be a real possibility. Favre grew up as a Saints fan in nearby Mississippi. This could be a great way for him to end his career. But there's just no opening at quarterback.

60-1 New York Giants: The funny thing is, if Eli Manning had lost in the first round of the playoffs last year and not led the Giants to a Super Bowl championship, this would have been a likely landing spot for Favre. But not anymore.

60-1 San Diego Chargers: If Philip Rivers' knee were worse than it is, this would be the premier spot for Favre. The Chargers are poised to win and he could lead them to their first Super Bowl victory. But Rivers appears to be recovering, and he is the Chargers' leader.

60-1 Seattle Seahawks: The good news is that Favre's old coach and mentor, Mike Holmgren, is in Seattle. The bad news is that Matt Hasselbeck, Favre's former backup in Green Bay, is also in Seattle. There's no room.

75-1 Buffalo Bills: The Bills appear committed to the young Trent Edwards. Favre would be an upgrade at this point, sure. But the Bills are not close to being a Super Bowl contender, and developing Edwards should be the priority.

75-1 Tennessee Titans: The Titans fully believe in Vince Young. End of story.

100-1 Cincinnati Bengals: With Carson Palmer in the fold, this is simply not an option.

100-1 Cleveland Browns: With Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn, the Browns have too many quarterbacks. They will not be in the market for Favre.

100-1 Dallas Cowboys: Even though Favre would look great in a Cowboys uniform, this is Tony Romo's show. It won't happen.

100-1 Denver Broncos: Like Tennessee with Young, the Broncos love Jay Cutler. They wouldn't be interested.

1,000,000-1 Indianapolis Colts: It's not going to happen here. Let's move on.

1,000,000-1 New England Patriots: See: Indianapolis.

1,000,000-1 Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger rounds out a mostly solid quarterback division. Indeed, if Favre is coming to the AFC North, it will be in Baltimore.

Bill Williamson covers the NFL for ESPN.com.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter