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Posted: Wednesday July 1, 2009 11:49AM; Updated: Wednesday July 1, 2009 1:12PM
Don Banks Don Banks >
INSIDE THE NFL

Snap Judgments: Forgotton factor in Favre fiasco; Keyshawn rips WRs

Story Highlights

Money is the driving force for both Brett Favre, Minnesota Vikings

Keyshawn Johnson blasts Brandon Marshall and Anquan Boldin

More musings on Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez and Jaguars WRs

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Money could be the motivating factor for both Brett Favre and Vikings owner Zygi Wilf.
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Musings, observations and the occasional insight as we flip the calendar to July, a month that starts with fireworks and ends with the long-awaited return of NFL football. ...

• It may not rival his obsessive quest for revenge against the Packers as the leading factor driving his likely return to the NFL, but don't overlook the motivating role money is playing on both sides of the Brett Favre-Vikings courtship.

That's right, after the chance to stick it to the green and gold, the pursuit of the long green might just be Favre's second-best reason to un-retire once again and join rival Minnesota. As one prominent Wisconsin-based Favre observer recently told me: "Brett likes his money now. Don't underestimate how hard it would be for him to ever leave $8 million to $10 million -- or whatever the Vikings wind up offering him -- on the table. He talks about staying home and riding his lawn mower around, but he likes to get paid.''

It's true Favre could have gotten that kind of money out of the Packers last year just to stay retired the first time. But getting that kind of loot -- even if it comes in a heavily incentive-laden deal, as expected -- from one of Green Bay's division foes allows him to both have his cake and eat it, too. What could be better than a scenario in which he gets paid in the process of trying to make the Packers pay for their mistake?

Another league source told me that while Favre has long enjoyed his reputation as a guy who plays for "the love of the game,'' money has always been one sure way to get Favre's attention. "His coming back and playing every year is not all about his love of competition,'' the source said.

And don't think for a moment the Vikings organization doesn't have any financial impetus for getting Favre to don purple. Just as the Jets wanted Favre in part to help sell PSLs at their still-to-be-opened new stadium, the Vikings could use the boost that No. 4 would provide for ticket sales, team-related merchandise sales, and most important, generating some positive momentum in the franchise's long and fruitless pursuit of some public funding for a new stadium.

With the Vikings tied to a Metrodome lease that runs only through the 2011 season, team owner Zygi Wilf likely feels a sense of now-or-maybe-never urgency on the stadium front. He knows he has a team good enough to win its division, and might be buying into the notion that a Super Bowl season could translate into a one-of-a-kind opportunity to parlay the resulting public goodwill into a stadium deal.

I rather doubt it in this still-struggling economy, with Minnesota and Wisconsin creatively agreeing to share the costs of some state services that would otherwise be greatly reduced, but you never know. Wilf may believe Favre represents his last, best chance to escape the antiquated Metrodome, which the Vikings have been trying to leave behind since as far back as the mid-'90s, when I was covering the team for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

It would be ironic if Wilf is taking such a long-term view of any potential Favre acquisition, given that the NFL's leading waffler is the ultimate short-term fix at this point in his career. But Favre in Minnesota would undeniably generate massive fan interest, and who knows where that may lead if No. 4 could rein in his at times errant right arm and lead an already talented Vikings team to their first Super Bowl in 33 years?

So follow the money, from both sides of this story. The Vikings clearly view Favre as a bet worth making, and they're willing to pay with big incentives if landing him winds up paying off in equal measure. Time will tell us how much of a gamble Minnesota is taking.

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