Don't expect Pack to release Favre
The fact Brett Favre asked for his release from the Packers is not a surprise. What would be a huge surprise is if the Packers granted Favre his wish.
The reason the Packers will not give Favre his freedom is simple. His team of choice is Minnesota, in my opinion, in large part because Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is a good friend of Favre's dating back to the three years (2003-05) Bevell was his quarterback coach in Green Bay. If Favre and agent Bus Cook, who, according to ESPN.com on Friday asked the Packers for Favre's unconditional release, believe that the Packers will allow him to go free so he can sign with Minnesota, they're crazy.
Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson may have mishandled this entire affair by being out of touch with Cook and virtually unreachable to Favre during the last three months. Thompson is an old-time GM. He would rather be hated by Favre and by Packers fans than he would in allowing the No. 1 rival in his division to steal his QB without any compensation.
Mark my words: Unless Favre agrees to some sort of handshake, gentleman agreement that he'll steer clear of the NFC North, there's no way the Packers will allow him to go free.
This is not to say the Packers categorically will not allow Favre to sign with another team. If Favre, who held a retirement press conference March 6, told the Packers he'd accept either a trade or a release so he could sign with a comparable non-threatening franchise, such as Tampa Bay, it's conceivable Thompson would allow it. He could either trade Favre to a team that would love to have him, such as Tampa Bay, or he could allow Favre his freedom if he could be sure Favre won't sign with a rival team. But as I reported Monday, I still believe strongly the Packers' first preference if Favre presses his return to football would be for him to play one more year in Green Bay, even though the Packers would rather have Favre stay retired and tied to his 465-acre property in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Again, as I reported Monday, Favre, who has three years left on his contract, wants to play football again. What he does not want to do is ruin his legacy in Wisconsin and prevent his three-year backup Aaron Rodgers -- who Favre does not want to screw -- from taking his rightful place as the Packers starting QB in 2008. I believe that's why he's asked the Packers to set him free so he can make a deal. I simply don't think the Packers are going to see this the way Favre does. I still believe the Packers will cling to Favre instead of granting him his wish to play somewhere else in 2008.