May 13th, 2009 04:10 EST
Vikings Are Still Interested in Favre, Team President Says
Brett Favre`s chances at landing a deal with the Minnesota Vikings were up in the air until the team announced on Monday that they are still interested in acquiring the quarterback who came out of retirement before the 2008 NFL season. The Vikings` president Mark Wilf asserted that their options are still open to signing the 39-year-old 3-time MVP.
Regarding the tried veteran, Wilf said "(Brett`s) a Hall of Fame quarterback. He`s a great competitor. Ultimately, you`ll have to ask Brett what his plans are, but sure there`s interest in Brett Favre. But again, it`s part of a process we have in general with any of our players. We`re always looking to make our team better."
Last week, numerous media outlets were abuzz with unconfirmed reports that Favre, who retired last year for the second time in less than two years after deflating any playoff hopes for the New York Jets, was returning to the league with the Minnesota Vikings. The move was thought by many as a dig aimed at the Green Bay Packers, who are bitter NFC rivals with the Vikings, after they let him go following the 2007 season.
Even amidst the fervent speculations over Favre`s return to professional football, neither the Vikings nor Favre himself were available for comment last week.
"At this time, I am retired and have no intention of returning to football," Favre told reporters after being cut from the New York Jets on April 28th.
He hasn`t announced whether he is seriously considering a reemergence into the NFL, and the Minnesota Vikings president hasn`t declared if he`s contacted them or not.
"That type of decision is up to Brett Favre, and I`ll leave it to Brett Favre to give you that answer," he told media sources on Monday.
Favre`s agent, Bus Cook, is only aware of Favre`s decision to stay in retirement for the time being, and has declined talking about the quarterback`s ideas on coming back to the NFL.
Vikings` president Wilf, who has co-owned the Minnesota Vikings franchise with his brother since 2005, talked about the quarterback at a planned community event earlier. A fan had broached the topic while Wilf held a panel discussion with team linebackers Chad Greenway and Ben Leber during the "You Made the Team" luncheon supported by the Marshall Chamber of Commerce.
When Greenway answered frankly, Wilf quickly clarified that he was confident with the corps of quarterbacks the team already has, including the starter Tarvaris Jackson, recent pickup Sage Rosenfels, and reserve John David Booty.
"With Sage and Tarvaris and John David, we`re pleased with the quarterbacks we have. Let`s not let that get forgotten here," Wilf cautioned. "And we just feel as a whole as a roster, we`re trying to improve every day. We feel we`ve made a lot of steps to improve off an NFC North division win and we`re ready to take the next step and to go all the way."
The situation between Favre and the Minnesota Vikings has come full circle in the past 365 plus days. When Favre recanted on retiring from the Packers and made many hometown fans happy, the team opted to give the role to second-stringer Aaron Brooks thereby slighting the local hero. After testing the waters of the quarterback market in the league, he insinuated a strong desire to play for the NFC North rival Vikings before being sent to the Jets.
After his acrimonious departure from Green Bay, Favre went to throw for 22 touchdown passes and 22 interceptions: the latter a league season high, and aided in blowing the Jets` opportunity to make it to the playoffs.
While the Vikings may repeat being Division winners this coming year, Favre`s talent cannot be easily overlooked as the quarterback position has been a sore spot for production after Daunte Culpepper left the team back in 2005. The position, inarguably the most important role to a team, is in a short list of vulnerable points for the Vikings overall lineup.
And the absence of a dominant QB in their roster hasn`t stopped Vikings` players from punctuating all the finest points of the team`s game as is.
"Last year it didn`t become a distraction and we kind of went through the same thing during training camp, which is right at the peak time," Chad Greenway said. "For us, it`s like we battled through that, were NFC North champs from last year and it obviously didn`t affect us. We got off to a relatively good start so I don`t think that had any type of effect."
Favre`s indecisiveness has really put his reputation as a true class act in football in question especially with Vikings` players who equate his actions with a sense of distrust.
"He`s retired a couple of times so you wonder where his loyalties lie. For us, we`re moving forward with what we`ve got here," Greenway said. "We have a team that can obviously win at a high level and we have a team that, moving forward, we think can really compete for an NFC North title again and get to the championship game and hopefully further. As good as something may sound, we have a great team to play with right now and there is no sense in looking outside of what we have within our 53 (man team roster)."