Commentary

This deal is a downer for Favre

The deal sending Brett Favre to the Jets isn't a good one for the legendary quarterback, John Clayton writes.

Originally Published: August 7, 2008
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

The last place Brett Favre wanted to be was with the New York Jets, but that's where he finds himself today.

After flexing his muscles and testing the will of the Green Bay Packers' organization, Favre agreed to a trade with the Jets despite having hoped to stay with the Packers or go to the Vikings or Bucs. Throughout most of his career, Favre lived the life of a player who thought of going to Super Bowls. By going to the Jets, he can think only of wild-card playoff berths.

Favre alone isn't going to cut the gap between the Jets and the New England Patriots. The Patriots have Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Bill Belichick, a great team and the easiest schedule in the league. Favre has only the satisfaction that he's out of Green Bay.

Given that reality, this trade is a thumbs down for the surefire Hall of Fame quarterback.

Jets fans have to be excited because they no longer have to worry about Chad Pennington's weak arm or the inconsistencies of the developing Kellen Clemens. Favre brings to New York the potential of a 4,000-yard season as a passer who can hit better than 63 percent of his throws.

But if his heart wasn't into competing against Aaron Rodgers for the starting job in Green Bay, how is Favre going to be at playing second fiddle to Brady in the AFC East? Mike McCarthy had it right Tuesday. He said Favre was in a tough place.

To come out of retirement and have only hopes of a wild-card berth has to be disappointing to Favre. True, he tested the will of the Green Bay Packers' organization and lost. He thought he was big enough to get his release. He wasn't. He thought he could force a trade to the Vikings. He couldn't.

Tired and mentally exhausted from his Green Bay visit, he agreed to listen to going to Tampa Bay or the Jets. He preferred the Vikings. The Packers said no and traded him out of the conference.

The Packers beat down their icon. They've moved on to Rodgers. Favre agreed to the trade only because he knew it was time to get in camp and train for the regular season.

Going to the Jets is certainly a downer for him.

John Clayton, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame writers' wing, is a senior writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer