Vikings coach Brad Childress has imposed a deadline of this week for Brett Favre to decide whether he will be the team’s quarterback for the 2009 season, according to ESPN.com. ESPN writers Chris Mortensen and Ed Werder cited two sources.
The ESPN report said Favre is apparently reluctant to commit to playing without first being more confident the arthroscopic surgery performed recently on his throwing shoulder has succeeded in eliminating all of the problems related to a torn biceps tendon. Favre, who turns 40 in October, announced his retirement in February and was released from the New York Jets reserve/retired list on April 28, setting off speculation that he would join the Vikings.
Favre had retired after 16 seasons with the Green Bay Packers in March 2008 but decided last summer he wanted to play after all. When the Packers told him they did not want him back, Favre tried to force his way to the Vikings but the Packers ended up trading him to New York in an ugly divorce.
It has been assumed by many that if Favre was going to play for the Vikings that he would not take part in their offseason program, despite the fact that Childress’ preference was almost certainly to get the future Hall of Fame quarterback to Minnesota as soon as possible. The Vikings have four more days of Organized Team Activities this week — today through Thursday — and then two more scheduled for next Monday and Tuesday. However, Childress could end the workouts after this week if he’s satisfied with his team’s progress.
Given that ESPN reported Sunday night that Favre remains unable to make a commitment because subsequent throwing sessions after his surgery indicate the shoulder is not yet 100 percent, it seems odd the Vikings would impose a deadline now.
Added the ESPN report: “It would seem reasonable that both Favre and the Vikings want to know the shoulder is healthy before reaching an agreement, and the team is virtually certain to insist on seeing the 39-year-old quarterback throw before any contract is signed.”