Our experts offer insight on if retirement was the right decision for Brett Favre, where he ranks as a quarterback, and look at whether or not Aaron Rodgers and the Packers are ready for next season.
Was retirement the right decision?
Mark Schlereth: Only he knows that for sure, but his reason for retiring rings true for any player who has ever played professional football. There's no doubt in anyone's mind that Favre could still be an excellent quarterback in the NFL. He still has the physical tools and a great deal of talent surrounding him, but none of that matters if you don't have the passion to do the little things during the week of a game or during the offseason. He's a smart guy who understands what it takes to be an NFL player and knew he didn't have that dedication in him anymore and that's why he retired.
That said, I wouldn't be surprised if he starts to feel that itch to play on Sundays again and decides to come back in July. He may very well miss the camaraderie that comes with playing with guys you love and decide that it is worth everything else just to grab that feeling on Sundays again.
Mike Golic: If he's truly done because he didn't want to deal with the process of dealing with the minutiae of preparing for a season, then this is the right decision. Athletes don't retire because they get tired of the games, they retire because they are tired of preparing for the games. It takes a lot out of a rookie to have to go through the normal preparations to get ready for a season, but it takes even more out of a veteran because of the physical and mental toll.
Is Aaron Rodgers ready?
Schlereth: I don't think a young quarterback is ever really ready to play because he simply doesn't have the game experience needed to be truly effective. Rodgers does know the offense very well and will get acclimated to game speed and learning the little things that are necessary to being an effective NFL quarterback. There will definitely be a learning curve and it has nothing to do with him having to follow a legend or any other such nonsense.
Golic: He better be ready because he's certainly had enough time after four seasons in the organization. When the Packers drafted Rodgers, they didn't bet on him having to wait this long to get his shot. In a way it may work out for the best because he has a lot more seasoned talent around him than he would have if Favre had retired last season as many thought he would.
It will be interesting to see who the Packers sign as a backup for Rodgers. If I were the general manager I would look to sign a veteran who has been in a West Coast offense before and who could come in and fill a short-term need if Rodgers goes down. I don't think I would try to bring in a guy to challenge Rodgers for the starting position though because I don't believe it's necessary. Rodgers is the guy and it should stay that way.
Where does Favre rank among the best QBs of all time?
Schlereth: He's one of the top five quarterbacks of all time, but his gambling nature is why he isn't an easy pick for best of all time. He improvised too much at times and hurt his team with costly interceptions, which is really the only knock on a guy whom any receiver would've loved to have had throwing to him.
Golic: There is no good answer to this question. Favre is definitely in the top 10, but it gets blurry when you start trying to pare down to a smaller number. I will say this though, Favre is in the small team picture of great quarterbacks and he deserves to be there.
Is this a lost season for the Packers?
Schlereth: No, this is still an outstanding football team despite Rodgers' lack of passing attempts. The Packers have a top defense and a young talented offense that is quite dangerous at the skill positions. This may not be a 12-4 or 13-3 team now because it has a young quarterback at the helm, but the Packers can still win the NFC North.
Golic: This team has too much talent on both sides of the ball not to still be a contender for an NFC North crown and a playoff berth. The Packers have an excellent young running back in Ryan Grant and he will take a lot of pressure off Rodgers with his presence. Teams will have to respect Grant's ability to break the big play and that will allow Rodgers time to make decisions and learn how to be a productive NFL quarterback.