The word on the gridiron is that Eric Mangini has extended an invitation to Brett Favre to join him at the Cleveland Browns’ camp.
Mangini’s reasoning operates under the guise of providing veteran tutelage to Browns’ quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson.
“I don’t think it would be anything formal,” Mangini said. “It’s not like we are hiring him to run the scout team. I don’t think he would be interested in that. He would be more like a visitor. An open invite.”
You’re a mean one, Mr. Mangini.
I see what he’s doing there, and I don’t like it. It’s calculating, cold, and cruel.
If I weren’t an avid supporter of the New York Jets, my maniacal laughter would be piercing the air in midtown Manhattan, much like Mangini’s laughter is echoing through the suburbs of Berea.
Not for one moment do I believe that Eric Mangini has any interest in allowing Favre to teach his new quarterbacks how to effectively throw 22 interceptions and miss the playoffs.
What he’s trying to do is complicate things for the Jets. What he’s trying to do is get Favre to spend some time around pro football again, and make him re-consider his retirement.
What he’s trying to do is throw a huge forkwrench in the Jets’ 2009 plans.
This is the equivalent of opening a bottle of scotch, aged 17 years, in front of a recovering alcoholic. Except Favre isn’t aged to perfection, and the Jets have completed their 12-step program.
Favre is terrible at retiring. Offering the most indecisive quarterback in recent years an opportunity to be around football while he’s still technically under contract to the New York Jets is truly diabolical.
And if Favre excepts the invitation, falls back in love with football, and decides he’s not totally finished?
Well, his $13 million salary comes back, and the circus returns to Florham Park. His fans will rejoice, Jets fans prepared to move on will weep openly, and Eric Mangini will laugh.
Of course, it’s all hypothetical. Favre was merely invited, not commanded. Old No. 4 can decide not to RSVP, stay home, and stick to his retirement guns—so to speak.
And even if Favre does show up in Berea, maybe he can play the instructor role without wanting a full-fledged return to the game. It sounded funny to me while writing it, but it’s not totally outside the realm of possibility, is it?
Regardless, it’s a slick move by Eric. One of the first real Mangenius things he’s done since about 2006, in fact.