Monday, July 14, 2008

What does Green Bay do about Brett Favre?

Recently Brett Favre has changed his mind about retirement and has decided to come back for another year in the NFL. Dave Berri - my good friend and co-author- has written a short piece on the benefits and cost to Brett Favre of returning to the NFL. I normally agree with Dave and do so with his perspective from Favre's side. What I would like to do is think about Favre's return from the perspective of the Green Bay Packers.

Favre has asked for him to be unconditionally released from the Green Bay Packers, which could be done by the Packers. But, Favre still has three years left on his contract and the Green Bay Packers have a player with trade value on the NFL QB market. So do the Green Bay Packers just release him and get nothing in return, or do they reinstate him to the active 80-man roster and try and trade him, or do they have a media circus with a battle for the starting QB position between Favre and Rodgers? Compounding the situation is fan interest on both sides of Favre returning to the Packers and any fan backlash of trading one of the marque Packer players.

This is a difficult decision from management's perspective, since reinstating Favre means the Packers will be on the hook for his salary if they cannot trade him, but by just releasing Favre, means the Packers miss a chance at making their team better - even though I am guessing they are only likely to get draft picks in trade for him.

Here's the wildcard in the mix - how good will Favre be? It is assumed that Farve will be excellent, but as we show - using Brett Favre's performance - in The Wages of Wins, Favre like most quarterbacks have up and down years. In fact, Favre had a great year last year, but by our QB Score per play measure was below average in 2006. With most QB's, last year's performance is not indicative of the next year's performance. And if the Green Bay Packers keep Favre, and he starts and does not do well, benching him will be a monumental media nightmare for the team.

So, while the benefit-cost to Brett Favre coming back look rather good according to Dave, the benefit-cost of Brett Favre coming back to the Packers is not as good.

So, if you are the GM for the Green Bay Packers, what would you do?

UPDATE 8/7/2008: Well, we have the GM's answer. The Green Bay Packers have traded Brett Favre to the New York Jet's. Details about the conditional pick from nfl.com are:

"The Packers traded the future Hall of Fame quarterback to the New York Jets for a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2009, NFL Network’s Adam Schefter reports. The pick turns into a third-round selection if Favre plays in 50 percent of the plays this season, a second-rounder if he plays in 70 percent of the plays and the Jets qualify for the playoffs, and a first-round pick if he plays in 80 percent of the plays and Jets make it to the Super Bowl. Schefter reports if Favre were to retire after the first year and the Packers got the Jets' first-round pick, then the Packers would send the Jets a fifth-round pick in 2010. If the Packers get the Jets' second-round pick, the Jets would get back the Packers' sixth-round pick in 2010. If the Packers get the Jets third-round pick, the Jets would get back the Packers' seventh-round pick in 2010. Additionally, in the scenario in which the Packers would get the Jets first-round pick, Favre must play in at least 50 percent of one playoff game for Green Bay to get that compensation."

1 comment:

Dr. Steven J. Balassi said...

In the NFL, you never know. The safest bet is to keep him and let him compete for the starting job. It would push the younger guys and they could learn a lot from him. If he is the starter, fine. If he is not, he could be traded. There is also the risk of injury at the QB position. It would be great to have someone like him as a back-up as well.