Ever since word broke that Brett Favre was indeed going to be playing professional football again in 2008, and that the Green Bay Packers were less than enthused about it, fans and pundits alike have been trying to figure out which team’s helmet the most famous 5 o’clock shadow in the NFL would be peeking out from under this season. While many seem to agree that Favre will most likely suit up for another of the NFC North teams, whenever anyone mentions the possibility of Favre in the AFC, the Ravens seem to be at the top of the list.
Sentiment in B’More seems to be about 50/50 in favor of/against bringing in the 38 year old gunslinger to lead our Ravens. While we can understand both sides of the argument, the official position here at the Nest is “YES, YES, 10000 TIMES YES! (with caveats)”
If Ozzie & Co. can get Brett here under the following two conditions, it should be pretty much a no-brainer:
1. Minimal Salary Cap Impact – Admittedly, I am no cap-ologist. I have no idea how a move like this would affect the team financially. What I do know is that the Ravens currently have little cap space as it is, and are yet to finish signing their draft picks, Joe Flacco included. So the move should only be made if it can be done without handicapping the team in regards to salary cap for not only this year, but upcoming seasons as well.
2. Minimal Player Impact – With the news that the Packers have decided to place Favre on their roster, but only as a backup to Aaron Rodgers, it is likely that Favre will now have to demand a trade from the team, instead of being granted his outright release as he had hoped. The upside of this is that Green Bay is HIGHLY unlikely to trade Favre anywhere within the division, and will most likely do all they can to get him completely out of the NFC. On the flip side though, what will his price be? The Ravens are in full rebuilding mode right now, and to trade away key pieces of the future for a quick-fix Hail Mary like Brett Favre would be akin to something the pre-MacPhail Orioles would have done. If the Packers asking price is reasonable for a 38-year old quarterback, then the Ravens should be first in line to listen to offers.
Let’s face it – regardless of the fact that the Ravens are in a “rebuilding” phase, they are still a very veteran roster (read: just the kind of team Favre needs). With the exception of the offensive line, pretty much every unit on the team features mostly players in the late-afternoon or twilights of their careers. The addition of a player of Favre’s caliber would make the Ravens instantly legit for 2008, the same way adding Steve McNair did in 2006, giving this veteran-laden roster one more last “one more last” shot at postseason glory.
There are other positives as well. Who would you rather see QB-of-the-fuchsia-future, Joe Flacco, learning from – Brett Favre or Kyle Boller and Troy Smith? Unlike my boy Dewey, I am not convinced that Troy Smith, who by most accounts has pretty much already been slotted as the starting QB, can be an effective NFL quarterback. As I read last week, one NFL scout said that he is simply, “too easy to game plan against.” I don’t know what that means, nor will I pretend to. What I do know is that, while he looked better than Boller in 2007, I am not optimistic in the least than he is capable of running a Cam Cameron offense and leading the team to anything resembling respectability in 2008.
Another thing: remember that offensive line that I called out for being more wet-behind-the-ears than the rest of the team? Well, unfortunately, that’s one unit that an old man like Favre would probably prefer have a little experience. Two words: Jonathan Ogden. Stay with me here – sure, sure, J.O. assured us that he in no way would ever consider a return to playing now that he is retired (never “pull a Brett Favre,” ironically), but do you really think he wouldn’t reconsider knowing that he would have the chance to huddle up with, and protect, Number 4? My money says he would be on the first plane out of Vegas with a layover in Milwaukee to personally pick Brett up himself.
Brett Favre in Ravens purple in 2008? Yes, please.