Peter King has a big article in Sports Illustrated -- happily titled Nightmare in Green Bay -- saying that he believes Brett Favre is in fact coming back.
The issue is going to be pressed soon. I fully expect Favre's agent to send a letter to the Packers within the next 10 days, stating that Favre, 38, wants to be taken off the National Football League's reserve/retired list. At that point, the team will have no choice but to re-admit the league's most accomplished statistical quarterback ever back to football, and general manager Ted Thompson and McCarthy will have a decision to make that you can be sure is keeping them up nights. They can take Favre and his $12.8-million cap number back onto the team and give him his starting job back, they can trade him or they can release him.
Every one of those options makes the Packers wretch.
These rumors have been going around for weeks and I haven't written about it because I just considered them idle chatter. You can criticize Peter King for a lot of things (and I like to) but he has the ear of a lot of NFL insiders. If he says it's possible, then I have to start considering it's possible.
King states that the Packers don't want Favre and thinks his most likely destinations are Minnesota or Chicago. I can't see Favre going to either of those teams in a million years. I also don't like some of the other options I've heard mentioned: Tampa, Dallas, Miami or the Jets.
If Favre does come back, I think he'll be looking for a team with three conditions:
1) He has to play
2) He has to be loved
3) He has to win
A quick look around the league only shows me two teams that meet those conditions. Green Bay (where they apparently don't want him) and ....Atlanta.
The Falcons make more and more sense the longer you think about it. Favre is from Mississippi and he started his career with the Falcons, so there's a "good ol' boy comes home" angle to it. After last year's train-wreck of a season, the Falcons desperately need to sell tickets. People aren't going to come out to see Matt Ryan, mostly because he won't be playing, but they certainly will come out to see Brett Freaking Favre. It's a promising option to give Ryan and the Falcons young WR corps a season with Favre and then start the Matt Ryan era. No, a Favre-led Falcons team won't make the playoffs, but he'll be adored every single week, and that goes a long way.
On the downside, the Falcons do play at Green Bay this season, so there will be that awkward new-girlfriend-meets-my-old-girlfriend moment.
The fantasy impact of Favre returning - no matter where he goes - is obviously huge. This could be the story of the preseason.