Should the Bears Sign Brett Favre?
A lot is being made about nothing lately. Brett Favre‘s name is once again being tossed all over ESPN because a report emerged from ESPN Chicago (read our follow-up here) broke out. But as exciting (or irritating?) as the potential of a Favre comeback can be, the possibility and reality faded in and out in about one day.
There were whispers that Favre maybe, possibly, could be, if you pulled his leg, he might think about – consider - a return to football with the Chicago Bears. Perhaps.
But regardless of his actual stance, ESPN’s Ed Werder has reported that the Bears have no interest, and will stick with Caleb Hanie as they wait out Jay Cutler’s thumb injury in hopes he can return late in the season or the playoffs. The only problem is, the playoffs might not be a part of the equation if Chicago waits too long.
So, with everything that is being said, one has to wonder; should the Bears sign Brett Favre?
Here’s three reasons why they absolutely should:
1. Favre Can Still Play
I know he got banged up real good, tossed 19 picks, and went 5-8 as a starter in 2010, but Favre also endured a horrible offensive line, off-field distraction (Jenn Sterger, anyone?), the loss of Sidney Rice, and multiple injuries. But despite all of that, he never really displayed a terrible decline. Most of his bad numbers came from a lack of protection from his line, bad decisions, and forcing the issue too much because he knew he had to.
However, in Chicago, the still talented Favre can rest easy with a studly Bears defense backing him all day, while an improved offensive line keeps him on his feet.
You can talk about injuries and Favre’s usual “late-season fade” all you want, but the 42-year old gunslinger would have to play just four regular season games and at most, four additional playoff games. Instead of being battered and bruised for the previous 12 weeks, Favre would come into the season with fresh legs and a lively arm, and would be ready to lead a talented team into the fire.
2. Caleb Hanie is a Joke
Favre aside, Chicago has to do something about the quarterback position. The formerly 7-3 team has dropped two straight, and despite two elite performances by their defense, they’ve seen the games thrown away as Hanie has tossed six interceptions during that span. Sure, he knows the offense, but he can’t execute it. At all.
3. Jay Cutler Isn’t Coming Back
Another reason for the Bears to hesitate about Favre is because they are holding out hope for Cutler’s return. While it’s still possible, the initial diagnosis makes his return in the regular season almost impossible, and a playoff return very unlikely. The hope that Caleb Hanie can hold down the fort until Cutler makes a dramatic return is foolish, and it is likely to blow up in the Bears’ face.
I know there is the argument that Favre’s career-long offense (West Coast Offense) and Mike Martz’s offense are as night and day as they get, but if Favre is considering a return to football with a complicated offense on the table, he has to be pretty confident he can tackle it in a week’s time. Considering he’s one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, I wouldn’t start betting against him.
But even more importantly, skeptics should take a look at how Favre handled a new offense when he made a similar schematic switch when he went from Green Bay to the New York Jets. He didn’t digest the Jets’ offense over night, but he was still able to find great initial success, as he tossed 20 touchdowns and led New York to an 8-3 record through 11 games before tearing his arm up.
With Favre, you risk picks, losses, and a season going down in flames. That’s him and the circus at it’s worst. But if things go well, you’re also getting the possibility that a 42-year old trying to write a more suitable ending to his legendary career actually does just that.
Truly, it could go either way. Favre could fail to get the offense, the offensive line could cave, and Favre and the Bears could be swallowed up in a sea of picks and losses, while failing to make the playoffs. But with Favre, as always, there is still the possibility that there is still some magic left.
At this point, with Cutler likely done and Hanie losing games all by himself, Favre is that high risk/high reward chance the Bears have to be willing to take.