The purpose of this column
is NOT to predict that the Miami Dolphins will acquire Brett Favre from the
Green Bay Packers.
Rather, I am here today to
tell you why such a move shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. There are some
very good reasons why this story has legs, why Favre to the Dolphins could happen,
why you shouldn’t say “no way”.
As things stand today, the
Miami Dolphins do not have a NFL starting caliber quarterback. This is not a newsflash,
but the situation “du jour”.
What they do have are two young
prospects, and a journeyman.
John Beck, a 2nd
year veteran, played in five games as a rookie, starting four of them, in a
learning situation as bad as any rookie could be put in. One questions the real
value of what was experienced.
Rookie Chad Henne just found
out where his locker is. Literally.
Josh McCown is a six year
vet whose passer rating has never ventured north of 75...and probably never
will. He was signed to act as an insurance policy in the event that Beck and/or
Henne weren’t ready to play. No one outside of McCown’s family expects him to
be this team’s quarterback of the future, or to deliver very much in the way of
That’s not to say that the
rest of the roster isn’t capable of delivering wins. Herein, friends, lies the case
for Brett Favre.
The Dolphins now have one of
the best young offensive lines in the game. Rookie Jake Long and fifth year vet
Vernon Carey look to be the best tackle tandem since Richmond Webb and Ron
Heller (1995). Samson Satele is the best young center in the game. Veterans Justin
Smiley and, presumably, Steve McKinney provide the leadership glue at guard.
The Dolphins also have a
terrific 1-2 combination at RB with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, among the
best in the NFL. They have an explosive WR in Ted Ginn, Jr., and a solid
possession man in Ernest Wilford.
They have, by several first
hand accounts, an improved defensive front seven. They have a solid cover
corner in Will Allen (who quietly turned in a good 2007 season) and an up-and-comer
in Michael Lehan. They have two, maybe three, starting caliber safeties (health
They have what looks to be
improved kick coverage teams, and kickers who can score and change field position.
If all of what I have just
laid out is true, a BIG IF, the Miami Dolphins are a good QB away from ending
their six year playoff drought.
Now, rewind back to the OTA
sessions this past spring. Neither Beck nor McCown were all that inspiring. Henne
had what former coach Nick Saban used to call “that brook trout look”.
This doesn’t mean that Beck
won’t ever “get it”; it just means that he needs more time, as Henne surely
does, before he’s ready to go.
This leaves McCown, and
would Bill Parcells leave it to McCown if he truly thought his team was playoff
Not if he could help it.
Enter Favre. He’s 38 years
old but still capable of playing at a high level. He’s decided that sitting
around his farm in Kiln, Mississippi isn’t what he wants to do, not when he can
still get after it like only he can. Problem is, the Packers have since moved
on in the wake of Favre’s prior retirement.
NFL rules require the
Packers to activate or release Favre. Packers GM Ted Thompson, in as bad a bind
as any GM could be, has said they’ll activate him but that he will have to come
into camp as the back-up to Aaron Rodgers.
Aside from the debate as to
whether or not Thompson has gone mad, few believe the Packers will insult Favre
by really following up on this laughable ploy. If they can’t convince Favre to
stay retired, he’ll be headed elsewhere (either by trade or outright release). The
biggest concern is keeping Favre out of the NFC North. The next concern is
keeping him out of the NFC proper.
The Dolphins, being in the
AFC East and not scheduled to play the Packers in 2008, would satisfy those
competitive concerns. But why would Favre want to come to a team that was 1-15
The first reason is
Parcells. There’s no question that Favre has enormous respect for him and the
credibility he has brought to the Dolphins. And Parcells has a history of
turning to older, grizzled quarterbacks in the past, most recently in 2004 when
he signed a 41 year old Vinny Testaverde to take the helm in Dallas, one year
after the team drafted Tony Romo. Don’t put it past the Tuna to have had some
hand in this whole business.
The second reason is if (BIG
IF) Favre believes the Dolphins are a good QB away from the playoffs, and
thinks he is the missing piece.
Would the Dolphins trade
disgruntled DE/OLB Jason Taylor to the Pack for Favre? Maybe, but such a trade
seems counterintuitive as it would only weaken the case for the Dolphins being
playoff ready. Only Parcells could offer up a true read on the merits of such a
deal, knowing the situation as only he does. The more likely scenarios are the
Dolphins offering a low conditional draft pick, or the Packers releasing him
with a prior understanding of Favre’s actual destination.
In the end, it will be
interesting to see how Favre’s situation plays out and whether it impacts the
Dolphins or not. For now, the Dolphins aren’t talking as Favre is the property
of the Packers. But if he comes to Miami,
a very BIG IF, it could change everything about where the Miami Dolphins could
be headed in 2008.