CHESS MATCH BETWEEN FAVRE, JETS CONTINUES
Posted by Mike Florio on February 9, 2009, 12:01 p.m. EST
Prior reports have suggested that the Jets will give quarterback Brett Favre as much time as he needs to make a decision as to whether he’ll play in 2009.
And those reports are accurate, if “as much time as he needs” means “before the end of next week.”
Though the Jets are treading lightly on this one, the reality is that they need to clear Favre’s $13 million base salary off the books by 4:00 p.m. EST on February 27, the first day of the 2009 league year.
At that moment, the Jets must be in compliance with the $124 million cap.
It is widely believed that the Jets are at least $10 million over the cap. We’ve heard rumblings that, once so-called “not likely to be earned” incentives from 2008 are carried over, the number could be much higher.
We continue to think that, regardless of the words used to characterize the move, Favre hopes to finagle a free and clear release from the team. This would allow him to retire from the Jets, and then to keep his options open, in the event that he again develops in June or July the itch to play.
We also are convinced that Favre remains committed to attempting to “stick it” to the Packers, by playing for the Vikings.
So we predict that, if the Jets won’t release him voluntarily before February 27, Favre will drag his feet in the hopes that the Jets realize that cutting Favre is the easiest way to get on the right side of the spending limit, especially if they believe that Favre won’t be playing for them in 2009.
The Jets likely prefer that Favre merely retire — and remain retired. The last thing that G.M. Mike Tannenbaum wants or needs is for Favre to go to a new team and do there what he was supposed to do in New York last season.
So it’s not surprising that Tannenbaum wants to hear from Favre before the Scouting Combine, which opens next week.
“We’re putting together our offseason plan,” Tannenbaum said, per Gary Myers of the New York Daily News. “We hope to have initial feedback from Brett by the combine.”
We suggest that Tannenbaum not hold his breath, or any other bodily function. Unless the Jets are willing to cut Favre, all they’ll get next week is an ambiguous non-answer answer with a practical result of forcing them to shoehorn his salary under the 2009 cap.