Even though the story broke at the worst possible time for the press — a late Friday afternoon — the “Brett Favre back to the NFL and NOT with the Packers” story is almost too delicious for any Ravens fan to ignore.
Message boards are awash with rumors of Brett Favre to the Ravens already.
But so are the fans’ hopes in several other places, including former division rivals — Chicago and Minnesota. (And wouldn’t that be a slap in the face, right? Think about Ray Lewis going to play in Pittsburgh or Cleveland?)
My sources in Owings Mills tell me that tales of Brett Favre to the Ravens are “crap.” The Ravens’ mantra since Brian Billick’s firing has been “we are building for the long term not the short term.”
But, one of ESPN’s main NFL bloggers has already written a huge piece about why Ozzie Newsome should’ve called Bus Cook during happy hour on Friday.
I get it. So do you.
Big star, Hall of Famer, end of the line, comes to blue collar Baltimore and leads the purple to the Super Bowl in Tampa salvaging the twilight of Ray Lewis’ career among others like Derrick Mason, Trevor Pryce, Chris McAlister, etc…
Favre completes what Steve McNair almost did.
Rookie Joe Flacco learns from him. Kyle Boller and/or Troy Smith watch and carry the clipboard. Cam Cameron lets Favre do his thing and they work magic together.
The most obvious question any fan would ask is this: “How could Brett Favre NOT be better than ANY of the aforementioned QB’s for the Ravens this year?”
And I gotta say that I don’t disagree with THAT sentiment. But I also wonder why Brett Favre would want to have Jared Gaither as his left tackle. And whether the $X million they’ll have to pay him is “smart money,” given their true prospects of winning 12 games this year with Favre.
But, if the long-range plan here is to groom a QB and the cap room is teeny and the front office really DOESN’T believe that the team is a Super Bowl contender this season then why bust up everything and the “major gameplan” to bring Favre in for 16 weeks?
Didn’t they attempt to do that with Deion Sanders? And by keeping the 2001 team together with Elvis Grbac?
But bringing in Shannon Sharpe and Steve McNair proved to be “genius moves” in retrospect.
And what would Ray Lewis make of the team’s decision to bring in Favre? Or not bring in Favre? We all know that No. 52 gets heard in the organization: see Sanders, Billick, etc.
This is why GM Ozzie Newsome gets the big bucks. He’s the new traffic cop for all of this drama now that Billick isn’t the “front” for the Bellagio.
And busting up the “process” doesn’t seem to be an impulsive “Ozzie-like” move. And as much as Newsome might be hearing footsteps after Brian Billick got guillotined, I honestly don’t think he’ll be “trying to save his job” with the 2008 win-loss record. It’s just not Ozzie’s style. Newsome hasn’t acted desperately in any circumstance, and in concert with Billick, that just hasn’t been the organization’s style.
The jury is still out on John Harbaugh and what role he’ll have in these “moments of decision” that will determine the club’s ultimate destiny.
But with the Ravens there’s always the emerging wild card: owner Steve Bisciotti.
Don’t be surprised if Bisciotti doesn’t get in his two cents about the 2008 season and whether he’d like to see Favre in a purple jersey, especially if there’s no player cost and only a cap cost.
This is a BIG part of the equation.
Don’t kid yourself: the days of Bisciotti just being a “fan” are over. He’ll be heard on this one, for sure.
And then there’s the ultimate clarity about whether there’s any faith at all in Kyle Boller or Troy Smith to lead the team and win games this year. And whether emerging Joe Flacco (who everyone in Owings Mills tells me is the best-looking quarterback they’ve had in purple in a long time) will pass them by during the third week of August.
It’s a weekend of “hmmmmmm” in Owings Mills for sure.
My guess is that they’ll “pass” on Favre.
But that’s only what I think Ozzie Newsome will do if he’s running the show.
I think Bisciotti might be a tad bit more interested.
And I know the fan base is gonna be quite stirred up on this one, especially knowing there’s going to be a telling result one way or the other.
The scenarios: Favre either comes here or goes somewhere else. And he’s either gonna play well or not. And the Ravens are gonna make the playoffs or not.
And after that, you can decipher any scenario you desire.
Favre leads Bears to Super Bowl. Or the Ravens to 8-8. Or the Ravens to the Super Bowl. Or the Vikings to 5-11.
Or Joe Flacco goes Roethlisberger or Brady and the Ravens go a surprising 10-6? Or they all stink and Harbaugh’s rookie campaign is 4-12? Or Boller and/or Smith lead the team to 7-9?
Who the heck knows?
But that’s what makes this fun?
And we’ll be talking about this decision for a few years to come. It’s another “Y” in the road for the Ravens.
Which path to take?
And don’t think for a nanosecond that Bisciotti isn’t thinking the same thing.
This one oughta be GREAT for comments below…it’s a click away!
As Billick would say: “Have at it…”