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Tuesday's Notebook: Back to Favre!

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Catching Our Breath

Where were we?

Oh yeah, Brett Favre's still making up his mind, Childress is staying tight-lipped about the Favre soap opera, the status of Pat and Kevin Williams is still very much in question despite having many of their claims dismissed in federal court, the OTAs are getting started, and Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice have both been impressive thus far.


If anyone tells you that late May is a slow time in the NFL, they clearly haven't paid much attention to the Minnesota Vikings. We've got storylines developing on multiple fronts, and the one making the most noise as we exit Memorial Day weekend is that whole Brett Favre thing His hand, it seems, is finally being forced.

Join me after the jump for the latest on Favre -- but first, after a weekend full of Williams Wall news, I think it's time for some predictions. We know Peter Ginsburg, Pat and Kevin's attorney and a guy I have an update on below the fold, thinks that the shift back to state court offers plenty of advantages for his clients, but what do you think? What's your prediction on whether or not the suspensions can be avoided? Let me know in the comments section and poll...

As the Favre Turns

It's been far too long since Favre was in the headlines, dontcha think? The lack of any new Favre rumors over the long weekend surely left a void in Vikings fandome, but thankfully, Peter King has cranked up the speculation machine:

He's going to have a make a decision whether to join the Vikings very soon, probably by this weekend, because the Vikings want to know what their 2009 future is at quarterback. I'm told the organization won't wait for a decision much longer, and if he has to get a minor operation to snip the damaged right biceps tendon that has been giving him pain, he has to do it soon. Like, within a week.

Good. At some point, you stop doing the Brett Favre dance (or the Brett Favre boogie, I suppose) and force him to make a decision. This thing has already gone on too long, with the constant speculation making the start of minicamp a lot more difficult than it would have been if Favre had made his decision by now.

Bottom line: The Favre rumors have created a distraction and will continue to do so until the Vikings ultimately force his hand -- which will hopefully happen this week.

Turning the page on the Favre rumors would be rough if the vet quarterback decides against making a return, but the team will have plenty of time to do so if they get a "no" from him in the next few days.

And it's not just the distraction factor that gives the Vikings reason to stop playing around with Favre and ask him to make a decision. Time is of the essence when it comes to the biceps tendon that's been nagging him -- if Favre finally decides to go through with an operation, he will obviously need time to rehab:

Favre needs surgery to release the biceps tendon that has been giving him discomfort throwing the ball. I'm told the tendon is hanging on by a thread. One source in the NFL medical establishment told me last week that he understands Favre's tendon is barely attached, and would take a minor arthroscopic procedure to detach it by snipping the tendon. If that happened, Favre would likely be unable to throw the ball for at least two weeks, with a month's rehab before he could throw like the old Favre.

That would bring us into the beginning of July, so if Favre takes care of this thing sooner rather than later, he'll have enough time to get back into shape for the season. The key phrase, though, is "sooner rather than later" -- if he's gonna come back, he needs to get the operation done immediately. He's past the point of being able to drag his feet any longer, since he's simply running out of time.

As long as Favre goes through with the procedure right away, there's reason to be excited. He'll be healthy, and he'll be ready to go for September 13th.

Will he or won't he? I don't know. My best guess is he'll have the minor surgery if the tendon is still nagging him by week's end, and that he'll get his arm right and do a deal with the Vikings. But it's only a guess. As I've said through this whole thing, I've been wrong about Favre staying retired twice, and so I'm out of the Favre prediction business. Let's see what this week brings. We ought to have a better idea by the weekend.

With all the contradicting reports and shady rumors that have formed the vast majority of the media's Favre coverage, one of the few certainties is that a comeback isn't exactly a slam dunk if it requires surgery. Favre has resisted the possibility of surgery through utilizing nonsurgical methods of trying to get the tendon to release, but this operation would nevertheless be routine with a short recovery time. I'm in agreement with King on where I see this heading: I think Favre goes through with surgery and inks a deal with the Vikings.

And believe me, I say that knowing full well the impossibility of making Favre predictions. Anyone who claims to know what Favre is going to do next is lying to you -- and that includes Favre himself. He may not be the only indecisive professional athlete there's ever been, but he's certainly one of the more unpredictable ones. Still, I think the best guess at this point is that he gets the procedure over with and starts prepping for the season.

Sound Familiar?

Hmm...where have we heard this one before?

Miami Dolphins defensive end Randy Starks has been arrested for aggravated battery on a police officer.

Miami Beach Police say they tried to stop the 25-year-old player when they noticed he was driving a truck packed with 13 people early Sunday along Ocean Drive. They say the vehicle was meant for only four people.

Police say Starks kept driving even as an officer was beside the truck. They say Starks swerved the vehicle slightly, hitting the officer in the chest and pinning him against another vehicle stopped in heavy traffic.

Sounds familiar, but I can't quite recall what this is reminding me of...

Williams Wall's Lawyer Acting Like a Lawyer

Florio caught up with some attorneys familiar with the Williams Wall court proceedings and is now reporting that attorney Peter Ginsburg, who is representing the Williamses, has been a tad two-faced when it comes to this case:

Although Vikings defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams might eventually escape their four-game suspensions, the Minnesota laws that could ultimately save them were not part of the initial lawsuit and instead were late additions to their legal challenges, according to attorneys familiar with the litigation.

The initial lawsuit filed on behalf of the players, we’re told, did not include claims under the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act, or under the Minnesota Consumable Products Act. Instead, those claims were added only after the case was removed by the league from Minnesota state court to Minnesota federal court.

So when Ginsburg is telling the media that the "heart of the case" is still alive, he's correct -- if by "heart of the case" he means stuff that was added at the last minute and wasn't included in the initial lawsuit. I'm truly stunned that a lawyer would do such a thing to distort the facts in his clients' favor.

Really, though, I couldn't care less about any hypocrisy on the part of Pat and Kevin's attorney. The only thing that matters is their ability to be on the field for week one of the season.

I suppose I should put an asterisk next to that statement -- the only thing that matters is their ability to be on the field for week one of the season, as long as their suspension is being scrapped entirely rather than delayed once again through the legal process. People seem to be feeling reasonably confident that Pat and Kevin still have a solid case, but if they're gonna need to serve the suspension, it's gonna need to be served in the first four games of the season.

I'm not interested in the suspension being delayed. Either they need to serve it or they don't -- that's what needs to be determined between now and week one.