Apparently all it took to bring Brett Favre back to Minnesota was a nudge from a Vikings' blog--that, discord among some of the team's key younger players, and the dispatching to Hattiesburg of three of the Vikings' more seasoned and respected voices.
No matter the reason, Brett Favre now appears to be in Minnesota and prepared to announce what most expected would be the ultimate conclusion of the off-season musical that was the media-created drama surrounding Favre. And thanks to advances in technology since, oh, 1950, fans need not have accepted head coach Brad Childress' earlier attempt at subterfuge when he sent assistants to inform the media that the players who were dispatched to Mississippi had not been.
The question, now, is how the Vikings will deal with the other three quarterbacks on their roster. In a previous post, I suggested that, if and when Favre returned, the Vikings ought to use Sage Rosenfels in the backup role and retain Joe Webb as the understudy, giving Rosenfels some meaningful snaps during the season. Not only has nothing that occurred in the Vikings' first pre-season game against the St. Louis Rams done anything to change that view, Webb's performance enhanced it.
That would leave Tarvaris Jackson in search of a new team. And while Jackson is likely to find a new home in the back-up role, he seems forever destined to be little more than a career back-up. That is, unless he finds some offensive scheme that permits errant deep passes, low short passes, y, and a lack of instinct.
Two weeks ago, despite their quizzical build-up of a player whose talents they had every incentive to keep under wraps, the Vikings might have been able to put Webb on the practice squad without losing him to another team. Webb showed enough ability against the Rams, however, to ensure that he will not be left unclaime on the practice squad. And that means that the Vikings will have to release Rosenfels or Jackson, or keep a player that they will probably never use over a player that they probably will need.
Retaining four quarterbacks was a difficult enough proposition when the Vikings merely were considering injuries to E.J. Henderson and Cedric Griffin and the likely retention of Rhys Llloyd exclusively for deep kicks. With the strong play of several defensive linemen and the promise of some heretofore likely-to-be-cut wide receivers, such a proposition has become even more difficult to justify--unless the team simply opts to retain only those offensive linemen capable of playing in the NFL.
While Favre's return magnifies some of the roster moves that the Vikings will be forced to make, it should also put an end to at least a portion of games certain other players on the Vikings have appeared to be playing in recent weeks. This week, we should see Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Adrian Peterson all contributing in the pre-season exhibition and playing their appropriate subordinate roles in the scheme of things. That should be good for the Vikings and good for the careers of those players. And it should put to rest concerns about divisions within the ranks as the season looms.
Up Next: Did You Plug the Hole Yet Daddy, Part II.