Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Vikings Not Giving Favre Ultimatum

For the past month, one national media outlet has taken great pains to scoop the rest of the football world on the Brett Favre saga, circa 2009. That source's efforts have led the media giant to criticize a St. Paul-based newspaper columnist for claiming that Favre had had surgery to tend to his arm problems (a claim that appears to have been informed), to claim that the Vikings gave Favre a one week deadline three weeks ago (an unfounded claim), and now to claim that Vikings' head coach Brad Childress has given Favre a deadline of Friday, June 12, to decide whether he will play for the Vikings in 2009.

As has been the Vikings' modus operandi under head coach Brad Childress and Player Personnel Director Rick Spielman, the Vikings predictably have declined to comment on this latest report. Given the lack of even a well-couched team denial, and Childress' penchant for wanting to be in complete control of his universe, there is reason to buy into the rumor.

With the start of training camp still more than a month off, there is no reason, however, for Favre to state his intentions at this point. And there is even less reason for the Vikings to request it. Having only recently had surgery to address the bicep injury to his throwing arm, it is highly unlikely that Favre is prepared to assess whether he can play in 2009--and even more unlikely that the Vikings are in a position to do so.

With two possible starting quarterbacks already in the fold, the Vikings have the option of waiting as long as it takes to obtain a commitment from Favre. The only conceivable difficulty for the Vikings in waiting for Favre to reach a decision on his schedule is that the Vikings would have to delay making use of their $16 million or so in cap space to address future contract concerns. That might make players like Antoine Winfield less enthusiastic about training camp, but there's little doubt that Winfield will play hard when it matters.

Even Childress understands this game.

Up Next: Building a Better Mouse Trap. Plus, more free agents?

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