Brett Favre will retire from Jets
BY ERIK BOLAND
11:59 AM EST, February 11, 2009
The Jets were hoping for an indication of what Brett Favre would do next season by the NFL Combine, but ended up finding out his plans sooner than that.
ESPN’s Ed Werder reported Wednesday morning that Favre told his agent, Bus Cook, to tell the Jets that he intended to retire. A Jets source confirmed that the call has been made.
In an e-mail to Werder, Favre thanks Jets management, specifically owner Woody Johnson, GM Mike Tannenbuam and fired head coach Eric Mangini. He also mentioned by name two teammates who had been critical of him after the season.
“Mike and Woody, as well as the entire organization, have been nothing short of outstanding,” Favre said in an e-mail to Werder. “My teammates — Thomas [Jones] and Kerry [Rhodes] included — were a pleasure to play with. Eric could not have been any better. I enjoyed playing for him. My time with the Jets was short, but I’m honored to be given that chance.”
“I had a great conversation with Brett this morning,” Johnson said in a statement. “Considering that he came from a totally different environment and joined our team during training camp, his performance last season was extraordinary. As I spoke with people throughout the organization, they all told me how much they
enjoyed working with him. Brett Favre is a Hall-of-Fame player, but he is also a Hall-of-Fame person. Brett, [wife] Deanna and his family will always be a part of the Jets family.”
On Dec. 29, the day Mangini was fired, Rhodes said in the locker room that Favre would be welcome back in 2009, but only if he participated — in full — in the team’s offseason program, which begins in March. Jones, in a radio interview that week, was critical of Favre, though the running back later sought to clarify some of his more incendiary remarks.
The Jets started 8-3 this season but collapsed down the stretch, losing four of their final five games to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs. Favre threw 22 TDs this season but also a league-worst 22 INTs. In the final five games, Favre had just two TDs and nine INTs.
Next for the Jets at quarterback?
First and foremost, they shed Favre’s $13 million salary from their cap. The Jets had been over the cap but now have some room to maneuver this offseason. As for next season, the Jets currently have Kellen Clemens, Brett Ratliff and Erik Ainge on the roster. But the team has also studied this year’s draft class at the position very closely. New coach Rex Ryan saw first-hand last season in Baltimore that a team can win and make the playoffs with a first-year quarterback. The Ravens, led by a punishing defense and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, made the AFC Championship, losing to eventual Super Bowl winner Pittsburgh.
Favre, of course, retired last season, setting the stage for his rancorous divorce from the Packers that resulted in his Aug. 6 trade to the Jets. The Jets inherited Favre’s three-year contract, which now has two years left on it. Should Favre unretire this offseason, the Jets could find themselves in a similar position the Packers did last offseason.