Following the 1993 season, I laughed about Brett Favre and the Mike Holmgren-led Green Bay Packers. Favre had thrown for 24 interceptions that season as opposed to 19 touchdowns. Against the Bears at Soldier Field in 1993, Favre had three-count ‘em-three balls of his returned for touchdowns by Bear defenders (two interceptions and a fumble).
Sure, Favre throws some rockets for touchdowns, I thought, but he throws so many interceptions that he’ll never to be a factor to be worried about.
I was still intrigued, though, by a suggestion Larry Mayer made in the 1993 season review issue of the Chicago Bear Report. Larry now is the senior writer for ChicagoBears.com but at the time was managing editor of the former publication. I was an avid reader of that weekly from 1980-2002.
Favre was a restricted free agent following the ’93 season. An RFA is free to negotiate with any team, but the original team usually retains the rights to the player or has the right to compensation in return. Mayer suggested that the Bears should have made an outrageous offer to Favre, something like $25 million over five years (he ended up resigning with Green Bay for 5 years and $19 million). This would have accomplished one of two things. The Bears either could have acquired Favre for what would have probably been first and third-round draft picks (which ended up being John Thierry and Jim Flanigan in 1994), or it would have forced the Packers to pay Favre much more than they wanted if they matched the deal, which was their right.
Brilliant idea, I thought. But it didn’t happen, of course. Even if it did, Favre may have already known that Chicago was, is and always has been quarterback hell, and passed up more money to stay in Green Bay. Just as his understudy Matt Hasselbeck did in 1998.
I hated Brett Favre for what he did to my Bears over the course of his 17 seasons, but I did admire him as a person. I won’t miss his knack for kicking my team’s rear on most occasions, but as I’ve said before, it will remind me how old I am if and when I see another quarterback line up for the Packers this season, for the first time since 1992.