Just days before he was expected to report for training camp, 40-year-old quarterback Brett Favre has informed the Minnesota Vikings he plans to retire, citing ankle troubles. The story was first reported on the Twitter account of Judd Zulgad, who covers the Vikings for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Here's what people are saying about Favre's third (and potentially final) retirement announcement.
Media Manipulation Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports say the inopportune timing of the announcement--just six weeks before the start of the NFL season--was engineered by Favre. With media attention this week focused on the standoff between Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan in Washington, "Favre's own internal Media-ometer went off, telling him that he hasn't been talked about enough in recent days," a situation Farrar believes is "sure to change now - when Favre makes his supposed announcement, and again in a few weeks, when he's just as likely to rise, as Lazarus from the dead, and grace us once again with his presence."
He'll Be Back Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio--who thinks Favre will return to the team--believes two factors influenced today's announcement
"First, he needs the Vikings fans to rejoice when Lord Favre rides in on a white steed to save the team from a return to mediocrity. And they won't rejoice unless they first believe in their hearts that Prince Graybeard isn't coming.
"Second, he needs an excuse for his own potential mediocrity. In his quest to ride off into the sunset with a Lombardi Trophy tucked into the back pocket of his Wranglers, Favre fears embarrassing himself. So if he plays poorly, it can't happen because he's lost his magic. There needs to be a good reason for a Willie Mays/Joe Namath/John Unitas end to his career unrelated to whether he can still bring it."
Financial Incentives Joel Thorman of SBNation says reports out of the Twin Cities indicating the team might offer to bump Favre's salary up to $13 million in the hopes of changing his mind make sense. "From the Vikings perspective, they may not have much a choice if that's what will get him to play," writes Thorman. "They're a Super Bowl-ready team as evidenced by last year's NFC Championship run. A Favre retirement would derail those plans."
Could This Be It? Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, for one, is willing to take the future Hall of Famer at his word, and issues a few words of caution to those reveling in today's news. Writes Pompei:
All the people who are happy to see him gone -- his opponents who can't beat him, the Packers fans who think he is a traitor and those who have grown tired of his dramatics -- should remember one thing today: Brett Favre was very, very good for the NFL.