Its no secret that I’m a Giants fan. And by no means am I switching from Big Blue to Gang Green. However, I’ve never hated the Jets and now that Brett Favre is a Jet, I have to be honest… I’m rooting for them more than usual. The Jets have already begun to have one of their best offseasons in recent memory and one of the best in the league. Acquiring Alan Faneca, Kris Jenkins, Calvin Pace, and all their draft picks looks good for them. (Except for trading back into the first round to take another tight end, of course.)
Now they’ve pulled off a trade for a first ballot Hall of Famer. A first ballot Hall of Famer at arguably the most important position in football. Are they the favorite in the AFC. Of course not. I don’t even think they’re the favorite in the AFC East. The Patriots still have the best offense in football, and as good as Vernon Gholston might look in practice, we’ve yet to see what he can do in an actual game. I think the Jets have a great chance to secure one of the wildcard spots, but its only preseason… lets not get ahead of ourselves. There are a few things about this trade that I see as red flags.
1) Brett Favre is older than his new head coach, his offensive coordinator, and his quarterbacks coach. Favre has done it all, and then some. What’s it going to be like when Brian Schottenheimer calls a play, Brett checks off, and tries to gamble… and in turn throws an interception to lose the game. That sounds familiar. That sounds a lot like the NFC Championship game. I’m not saying Favre isn’t good. I’m saying he’s been known to make a bad decision or two.
2) Brett Favre isn’t going to have as good of recieving corps in New York. Laveranues Coles and Jericho Cotchery are good, but they’re not known for making big plays like Donald Driver and Greg Jennings. Maybe with a new quarterback, things will change. One thing is for sure, they’ll actually have a reason to run farther than 15 yards past the line of scrimmage.
3) Favre has never played in a West Coast offense. Every step of the way, it’s always some sort of spread formation. Three wide, two back sets, double tight end sets… thats what he’s used to. Are Jets fans expecting Favre to come in the day of the Jets’ first preseason game and master the offense? Unless they tailor the offense to Favre and his abilities, its going to take some time. The question is, how much time?
Moving forward, what do the Jets do with Chad Pennington? They can trade him to the Vikings. They already have a game manager throwing to sub-par recievers. Now the Vikings can bring in a game manager that’s taken a team to the AFC Championship and had a league high passer rating for an entire season. The Jets could trade him to Chicago. His arm isn’t as strong as Rex Grossman’s, but do you think Bears fans care? They just want to be relevant again.
Furthermore, will this trade ruin the future of either of these two franchises. Like it or not, they’re forever linked. The Jets wanted Favre in 1991 and because they didn’t have a first round pick that year, they missed out on a franchise quarterback. Now, seventeen years later, they got their man. The better he plays for the Jets, the higher the compensation for the Packers. Who knows? Maybe the pick from the Jets becomes yet the next great Packer. As for the Jets, will this offseason be the first of many that turns them into the football version of the Mets in the 90s? Free spending, trading away young talent and picks for washed up, big name stars?
And finally, what does this do to Favre? Is his image tarnished? I think not. If you poll 100 people and ask them what team Joe Montana played for, how many will say the Chiefs? Or if you ask them what team Johnny Unitas, Joe Namath, or Emmitt Smith played for, how many will say the Chargers, the Browns, or the Cardinals? My guess is very few. Because when it comes down to it, its not how you start or how you finish. Its the career as a whole and Brett Favre will always be a Packer.