Brett Favre got on a plane with a Minnesota Vikings logo in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Tuesday morning and flew due north for Minnesota. Naturally, that got people thinking that he's going to be playing for the Vikings this season. Those people were right, as he showed up to Vikings headquarters Tuesday to sign a contract. Hordes of fans awaiting his arrival crowded around the entrance, a sure reminder that the circus is back in town.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Tuesday afternoon that Vikings practice began without Favre, but with a telltale sign of his arrival on the premises. Quarterback John David Booty was wearing No. 9, when a day before he had No. 4 on his back. He showed up on the field around 1:30 p.m. Central time and started taking snaps with the offense. That, of course, is Favre's number. The newspaper is reporting that Favre will make $12 million in 2009, with an option for the 2010 season.
If a report from Cris Carter of ESPN is true, you'll see that number on Favre's back against the Chiefs on Friday night. Carter said on SportsCenter that Favre will start that game, a remarkably fast turnaround for a player whose signing hasn't even been officially announced yet.
When Favre meets the media, he'll probably tell everyone that he just couldn't stay away from the game of football because he loves it so much. He'll talk about how much he realized he missed being around the guys, how his body was telling him to give it another shot and how that forced him to change his mind. And not one word of it will be true.
Favre's coming back now because he can make a ton of money playing quarterback without putting in any of the work involved with being a quarterback. No two-a-days, no training camp dorm rooms and none of the other hard work that every other player in the NFL has put in during this offseason. Everyone can agree that's a pretty sweet gig if you can find it, especially after you proved last season that it doesn't result in a very good quarterback.
That's the rub, and that's the part of the story that makes absolutely no sense. You can't be angry at Favre for wanting to play football, but you can wonder why Minnesota is bending over backward to pay him lavish sums to do it for them. The Vikings may not have a superstar at quarterback, and in that perfect world Childress refers to Favre is a huge upgrade over Sage Rosenfels and/or Tarvaris Jackson.
That's exactly what the Jets thought last year about Favre compared to Chad Pennington, and that didn't work out quite that well when it became clear that Favre's lack of preparation hamstrung the team when the games mattered the most. The Vikings have a better team than the Jets did last year, but that was true before Favre. If they don't have a quarterback that's any better, things might not wind up all that different when all is said and done.