Earlier this week, a national media outlet reported that the Minnesota Vikings, and Brad Childress, specifically, had issued an ultimatum to quarterback Brett Favre. That purported ultimatum had Childress requesting a decision from Favre on whether he intended to play with Minnesota this year. As we reported yesterday, the Vikings never imposed this ultimatum on Favre--nor, under the circumstances, did it make any sense for them to have done so.
Today, Childress confirmed that he has never given Favre an ultimatum, flatly rejecting the claim. And while it is always difficult to take Childress at his word, it is even more difficult in this case not to do so. With training camp more than a month away and Favre still working on strengthening his arm, there simply would have been no benefit to the Vikings of issuing such a short-term ultimatum--or any ultimatum--at this time.
Presumably in an attempt to save face, the national media outlet that reported the Childress ultimatum to Favre yesterday reported that the Vikings have decided to back off of Favre for the moment. In the reporting world, that's called back-tracking without an admission. In this instance, it's also patently untrue.
The Vikings remain as interested as ever in Favre and are merely waiting to hear whether he wishes to return to play for the team this season. That's where things stand. And until Favre has an opportunity to strengthen his arm, and until training camp opens, it is highly improbable that he will announce his intentions.
If there were any doubt about the Vikings' intentions, those doubts should have dissipated following Childress' Wednesday morning statements on the situation. During a call-in to a Twin Cities radio station, Childress made clear his interest in Favre, commenting on Favre's abilities and what he would bring to the Vikings. Childress even offered that he had had conversations with Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson and that "both players understand that it is [the coach's] job continuously to improve the talent on the roster."
For those who have followed the Vikings and had occasion to listen to Childress speak, the fact that the Vikings' head coach is speaking positively about Favre's abilities and what he would contribute to the team says all that is needed to be said about the Vikings' interest in Favre.
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