Life hasn’t been easy for Brett Favre since arriving in New York. The playoffs crumbled in front of the Jets when they were within reach, and then the fans turned on the old man.
But it’s not like it was without reason.
First, he had trouble making new friends as no one from Gang Green invited him to dinner.
Next he struggled with the new playbook, and requested that Brian Schottenheimer simplify the offense. All of the pre-snap motions and shifts were removed to eliminate confusion.
After being selected to his tenth Pro Bowl, fans of at least 30 teams completely turned on him and called the voting process a farce.
To make matters worse, Favre was on his way to establishing a new career-high in his completion percentage…until he ended the season with his fourth-worst interception total.
And a torn tendon in his right bicep is the cherry on top of a stale cake.
While most fans are anticipating an end to the retirement drama when Favre announces he’s done with professional football, others are embracing the possibility of a return with open arms.
The unpredictable nature of it all disallows some fans to take a side.
But if one more year with the New York Jets is in order for Favre, there are a few things that must happen for everyone to feel comfortable with the decision.
Sign a New, One-Year Contract with Incentives
Brett Favre is due to make a lot of money—an amount that leaves NY $10 million over the projected salary cap. Favre’s $13 million has the potential to hold New York hostage, especially if he continues to mull retirement after March.
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A hefty reduction in pay is in order. Bringing Favre’s base salary down to about $3 million sounds more reasonable.
Lacing the contract with performance-based incentives is ideal. Making Favre earn more money by what he doesn’t do will help the Jets’ efforts.
For instance, asking Favre to do something he’s never done—like throw less than 15 interceptions—could accelerate his earning potential at the end of the regular season.
Get Him a Primary Wide Receiver
Most Jets’ fans love Laveranues Coles. He’s a tough receiver with good hands and an ability to gain yards after the catch.
Unfortunately, he’s on the wrong side of 30, has had issues with concussions, and has seen a decline in his production over the last two years.
On the opposite side of the field is a nearly identical receiver in Jerricho Cotchery. He’s an excellent complement to a receiver who can stretch the field. He hasn’t had injury problems, has better hands than Coles, and continues to improve with opportunity.
But with both men running similar routes and failing to threaten on deep routes, the Jets need to get a strong, route-running receiver who can also gain separation from a defender.
Without that threat, Favre is right back where he was in 2008.
Embrace a New Role as a Game Manager
The idea of a game-managing quarterback was a hot topic in 2008. It was a concept most true quarterbacks despise.
What quarterback doesn’t want sole credit for winning games?
But one thing was made abundantly clear by Rex Ryan in his introduction as the Jets’ new coach: his offense will adopt a run-first mentality.
This means Brett Favre won’t be asked to throw into coverage on third downs. In fact, it means Favre shouldn’t be asked to throw much more than 20 times a game.
Actually Be With the Team!
After the loss to the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, a lot was written about Favre’s poor relationship with his teammates.
While everyone was understandably upset, words from both Kerry Rhodes and Jerricho Cotchery ring true. Both players have said they will welcome Favre back as long as he’s playing when the team is playing.
This means the retirement talk can’t drag through Spring activities and carry over training camp. Building an early rapport with his teammates and developing his relationships with everyone will be of the essence for a successful season.
No one is interested in the self-centered diva act.