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Favre Returned to NFL in 2010 for "Money"

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Favre Returned to NFL in 2010 for "Money"

No, former Packers quarterback Brett Favre did not return to the NFL in 2010 because his undeniable love of the game, or the fact that he was coming off his best ever NFL season statistically, or because his Vikings were one ill-fated, across-the-body throw in New Orleans from making their first Super Bowl in over 20 years.

It was much simpler than that.

In his latest segment of an interview with NFL Network's Deion Sanders, Favre revealed his true motivation for playing his 20th NFL season in 2010. Favre returned because of the money.

"First of all, the money was too good," Favre said.

Sanders responded by thanking Favre for "being honest" in his response.

"I hate to say it's about money," Favre continued. "But I felt the money was a lot -- great."

Look, this if far from a "takedown" piece—as Aaron Sorkin's Will McAvoy would call it—of Favre. Unlike many Packers fans, I have very little in terms of ill-will towards Favre, and I'd much rather put the time period after 2008 behind the fan base than continue to dwell on the fractured relationship.

And to admit that taking somewhere near $20 million (Favre signed with the Vikings in the summer of 2009 for two years, $25 million, but re-worked the deal to push most of the money to 2010) was a big factor in his ultimate decision isn't exactly the worst act in the history of the world. A precious few of us can even fathom turning down $20 million if it was presented to us.

But for a quarterback who was critically acclaimed for his "just having fun out there" style, and his unshakeable love for the game of football, Favre's comments to Sanders make the former Packers quarterback seem a little disingenuous, to say the least.

Truth be told, Packers fans are probably used to coming to terms with some of Favre's disingenuity over the recent years. For most, the proverbial light has been shed on the former golden boy of Green Bay.

The NFL's holder of most career quarterback records didn't stop with the money. Using his revisionist glasses, Favre appeared to be foresee the Vikings' eventual collapse.

Favre was brutally honest about his opinion of the Vikings' chances in 2010, despite coming off a 13-3 season in which Favre threw for 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions and had the Vikings just one bad decision from Favre away from the Vikings playing the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV instead of the Saints.

"But the guys, I kinda felt like, even though I knew it was gonna be next to impossible (to repeat 2009) -- I wouldn't tell them (that) -- Sidney (Rice) and Jared (Allen) and Big Hutch (Steve Hutchinson) and Adrian (Peterson), they were like, 'Hey, unfinished business.' And I just knew that it probably was finished, but I did feel like if I didn't try it (I'd regret it)," Favre said.

Favre even considered the birth of his daughter's son as a precursor.

"I don't know too many grandpas that have had a lot of success leading us to the Super Bowl," Favre joked. "I knew this wasn't going to end good."

Despite the worries, however, Favre did return, and he subsequently suffered through the worst season of his NFL career. The Vikings won just six games in 2010, and Favre threw just 11 touchdowns against 19 interceptions. He was beaten and battered, and he eventually snapped his iron-man streak of consecutive games started at 321.

The Packers beat Favre twice, including a thrilling early-season game at Lambeau Field in which Favre threw a pick-six, and once again in Minnesota when Aaron Rodgers laid a beat down on the old man in front of his Metrodome crowd.

In his last ever game—a start at TCF Bank Field in Minneapolis against the Chicago Bears—Favre lasted just seven throws and the Vikings lost, 40-14. Favre (concussion) wouldn't take another NFL snap.

Instead of going out with a bang, Favre went out with a whimper, a limp, a headache.  And then his former backup, a player he hated GM Ted Thompson for bringing in behind him, went on to win MVP in Super Bowl XLV as the Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.

And the decision for Favre—a golden boy in the media for reasons exactly the opposite of this—came down mostly to money.

Love him, dislike or loath him, that reality is a sad one.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (20) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

June's picture

Really well written and well said! It is sad.

Zach Kruse's picture

Thanks, June.

Kevin's picture

Nice article but you left out his comments to Julius Peppers to have the Bears knock the Packers out of the playoffs. Of course it's the Bears and they failed to do it and we went on to win the Superbowl. And Brett has made more than enough money, so I don't buy that as his only reason to play for the Vikings. It's so sad to see a legend disgrace his name so late in his hall of fame career. I just wish Brett could man up and apologize to the Packer fans!

AF_Cheddarhead's picture

Apologize for what exactly, 16 thrilling seasons or maybe being on of 3 or 4 guys responsible for ending 20 years of frustration.

I was a frustrated as anyone with the way it ended but the Packers said thanks but no thanks. At that point the man has a right to his life and if you read it only the second year was for the money the first year was to stick it to TT. BTW he was right the Vikings were pretty good that first year.

OedipusRednex's picture

16 thrilling seasons? The revisionist history for Favre fans is amazing. Other than 1 season in the playoffs, Favre is the most over-rated, over hyped, choke artist in the history of the game. 6 INTs vs STL. The Philly game. The Viking game. The Giants game.

And, let's be perfectly clear, your narrative that "The packers said thanks but no thanks" is hogwash. Favre played his little drama game for 5 off seasons. He retired. The Packers moved on. Period. Then Favre wanted to unretire 3 weeks later. Thompson and McCarthy agreed. Then the night before flying to MS, Favre changed his mind. Then Favre planted a story in April with Farmer. Then Favre threw Campen under the bus. Then Favre ripped on the organization, on Thompson, and on Rodgers. Then Favre "unretired" but wouldn't file his paper work. Then Favre wanted the Packers to release him and get nothing in return. Then Favre stalked the Packers and creeped out his Jets teammates with his obsession. But, I guess your "Packers said thanks but no thanks" makes your guy sound better, hence that's your story...

Also convenient how Favre fans forget so many things. Calling Matt Millen and trying to help Detroit. Trying to get a story published that Thompson is gay. Lying repeatedly to Greta. Lying about showing up Family Night.

And yeah. The Vikings were pretty good that first year. Until your hero blew yet another playoff game by making a stupid choice.

Good thing is now Favre is about to become a coordinator for some high school, you'll know who to root for this year.

Rocky70's picture

Funny how with some "BF Apologists", BF can still do no wrong.

Believe it, not all PackFans cremed in their jeans (like you) because BF was at QB in GB. I consider one SB Trophy in 16 years to be an "utter fail".

2008 was a great year for the Pack. The albatross was finally gone.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

"Apologize for what exactly"

For pulling his pants down and taking a huge dump on THE G when he donned the purple. A blatant slap in the face to all that supported him for those 16 seasons you're talking about.

"the Packers said thanks but no thanks"

Nope. He R-E-T-I-R-E-D. F-A-C-T. The team then rightfully handed the reigns to the young QB they drafted for that exact role... Replacing Burt when "HE" "Decided" to retire. Pretty simple really. So the Packers are at fault when Burt once again waffles and wants his job back months later??? Not in the real world.

" BTW he was right the Vikings were pretty good that first year."

Not good enough.

Tommyboy's picture

A textbook narcissist response. It didn't go well because I was just in it for the money...i.e., the "I wasn't really trying" defense.

When this whole thing shook down, I was annoyed with Favre, but felt like one of the few who didn't love him or hate him. I was annoyed, but couldn't help but still like the guy. Now, I just get more annoyed when I read this kind of crap. And I can't keep clinging to the "Oh, how the media twists/misinterprets his words anymore." As a practicing psychologist who has worked with diagnosable narcissists, I just see too many signs.

Mojo's picture

Perceptive Tommyboy. The "money" motive is supposed to put the idea in the listener's head that Favre's terrible last season was due to his lack of motivation to play football. Everything he says from now on is designed to preserve his legacy. He perceives us viewing his stealing the Queens money as better than seeing him as a QB who can, from time-to-time, - suck.

marcopo's picture

You should have known my ex-wife.

eVade's picture

I don't really think it was about the money but I thought that his contract was redone to push his 2010 compensation to 16M plus incentives.

Zach Kruse's picture

You're right. I made that adjustment after a little research. Thanks, eVade.

lebowski's picture

I, for one, am glad he came back. A season of watching Favre get his ass kicked and the Vikes imploding made the previous two worthwhile.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Once I realized who he was, what he was really about (him).. It warmed my heart as well.

packsmack25's picture
FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Swell. If only it was one of ours standing over him.

FITZCORE1252's EVO's picture

Am I going crazy(er), or do I distinctly remember the mad texter specifically saying it wasn't about the benjies when he signed with the queens?


marcopo's picture

There are those who believe Favre should only be measured by his on-field accomplishments. I'm not one of those. A relationship exists between a player and his adoring fans. Favre has totally disinherited the Packer organization and Packer fans. Perhaps he was always a horse's betoot and only came out of the closet late in his career. He has given me no reason to care about his "legacy".

Michael7843853's picture

Maybe GB loved Favre a bit too much. Maybe the league and media did. That type of adoration can screw with a guy's head. Most of the fault is his, but not all of it.

Point Packer's picture

The guy just keeps digging deeper and deeper. Simply can help himself. He is slowly breaking down all the reasons why he was so beloved: loyalty (gone), integrity (gone), passion (gone), humility (never really had).

TT deserves a huge pat on the back and apology from a lot of people, including Packer fans, for taking the blows he did in making the right move for the franchise.

Unfortunately, Bert's legend has been severely tarnished on many fronts - not just in GB.

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