Favre trade: Who has the better end of the deal?
The Brett Favre trade settled the Jets' murky QB situation, but it also enabled the Packers to move forward with the transition to Aaron Rodgers as their starter.
Jets: Favre was the missing piece
The New York Jets acquired a quarterback who's maintaining the best passer rating of his illustrious career and whose presence is stimulating dreams not entertained in recent times.
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Before Favre, the Jets were headed for a quarterback controversy. Chad Pennington wasn't afraid to share his impressions of how the team viewed him, suggesting the front office wanted Kellen Clemens to win a job that had flip-flopped in 2007. Problem was, Clemens was losing the battle in camp.
Pennington is lauded unanimously for being a classy leader, but with the muddled quarterback outlook and little confidence from coach Eric Mangini and his staff, the variables were immense and dangerous.
Then Favre arrived, and everything became crystalline. A surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer at the helm instilled a conviction the Jets wouldn't have had.
Yes, there have been adjustments. Wide receiver Laveranues Coles sulked over Pennington's dismissal. Favre labored to rewire himself after 16 seasons as Green Bay's motherboard.
But the Jets are 3-2 and working their way into AFC East contention, with an upcoming schedule that's softer than a Sarah McLachlan album.
The Jets invested a lot of money to land such players as guard Alan Faneca, tackle Damien Woody, nose tackle Kris Jenkins and linebacker Calvin Pace. An unquestioned quarterback was the missing piece.
They got one, and there won't be any regrets.
--Tim Graham, AFC East blogger
Packers: Rodgers has shown he is ready
The Brett Favre trade left the Packers in better long-term position than the Jets, with only a moderate drop-off in the short term, if any at all.
Let's remember the facts of this summer and recognize, for the sake of this debate, that Favre was never in position to play for the Packers this season. Favre decided to unretire only after Green Bay had moved on to Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers had no plans to turn back.
Considering that background, the trade gave Green Bay a high draft choice -- probably a third-round pick, with a second not out of the question -- for a player who wasn't in its plans for the 2008 season. General manager Ted Thompson also placed Favre with a team the Packers won't be competing against this season unless both reach the Super Bowl.
Further, the deal avoided an unseemly and uncomfortable environment had Favre actually made it to the practice field. Rodgers was never undermined, nor was he forced to wait another season to get on the field.
Although Rodgers hasn't been perfect in the first six games of the season, he has without question demonstrated that he was ready to step in as a productive starter.
It can take years -- or even a generation -- to replace a Hall of Fame quarterback. But the Packers have made the transition seamlessly. They are tied for first place in the NFC North and have a bonus draft pick for their efforts. The Jets? Their progress will cease whenever Favre resumes his retirement.
-- Kevin Seifert, NFC North blogger
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