Reports from around the league indicate that Brett Favre has made a decision not to return to the Minnesota Vikings for the 2010 season. Consequently, the class of the NFC North become the Green Bay Packers. This is Favre’s third retirement in 3 years (Packers, Jets, and Vikings). Favre has indicated that his recovery from the ankle surgery in May has not progressed to the point to where he could play effectively.
The Vikings return to their 2008 version with Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels manning the helm. Brad Childress, the head coach and play caller for the Vikings, was notoriously conservative prior to Favre’s arrival. According to Trent Dilfer of ESPN, there are valid concerns that the offensive style may regress not only because of who plays quarterback, but because Favre isn’t there to push Childress in a less conservative direction.
The Vikings are not a defenseless team. They have one of the best running backs in the game, a veteran offensive laden with talent, break away wide receivers, and a run stuffing defense. While on paper they are worse today than they were last year, they are a capable team of beating any team in the league.
With respect to Favre’s replacement, it is not too late in the pre-season to search for another competitor. The Cowboys have a capable backup in Jon Kitna who could compete with Jackson and Rosenfels. The Cowboys do not have enough faith in Stephen McGee to even consider parting with Kitna. However, Jeff Garcia, Rex Grossman, or possibly Brady Quinn could be available via trade if the Vikings were desperate. The question that may haunt the Vikings organization is whether they would have been willing to trade for McNabb several months back.
The Vikings danced with the devil they knew, and not surprisingly they were burned in the process.