And finally, we have a deadline in place. Brett Favre told the Associated Press that he'll inform the Vikings of his decision by July 30th -- the day training camp gets underway in Mankato.
"There's two weeks left and I'm doing everything I can," Favre said. "I was down here Sunday morning working out. I'm trying to get everything to where I feel 100 percent when I go in. I can't go in any less. When you're 39 years old, it's hard enough. But it's getting there."
First of all, this is good news. Having this thing continue beyond the start of training camp is something the team couldn't afford to have happen, so the fact that it won't extend beyond July 30th is worth being happy about. Ideally, this would have been resolved by now, but that's just not the nature of the Brett Favre dance. He'll carry it out to the last minute, and as long as "last minute" is defined as the moment training camp begins, I can live with that.
Second, this news shouldn't be unexpected. There's simply no good reason for the Vikings to allow the dance to continue into training camp -- if we would have reached the 30th with no resolution, telling Favre "no deal" would be the appropriate response. I think everyone can be satisfied with the situation being solidified slightly in advance of training camp, and forcing Favre's hand to make that happen was absolutely the right decision by the team.
Then, of course, there's the question of what Favre will actually decide. Will he be comfortable enough with his arm in two weeks to make the comeback, or will the months and months of drama have culminated in Favre simply deciding to remain in retirement? The fact that he's practicing hard and saying his arm is "getting there" signals to me that, in all likelihood, he'll make the decision to play for the Vikings this season.
Here's how the article described Favre's performance in a practice this morning:
Favre hit a variety of passes to high school and college wide receivers. He was crisp on short timing passes and was hitting receivers in the end zone from about 50 yards away. He attempted a few deep passes off bootlegs and usually hit his targets in stride.
And here's another quote from Favre:
"I don't think Minnesota would even consider it if I didn't have it," Favre said. "Second of all, I wouldn't even think about it if I didn't have it. Now, having it here and having in on the field on Sundays is two different things, I know that for a fact. I know what it takes to play on Sunday and I still believe I have that."
When you put it all together -- the rigorous practice schedule, the progress he's apparently making on the field, and his feeling that he 'still has it' -- you've gotta be left with the impression that this is virtually a done deal. At this point, it's really just a matter of waiting for it to become official because everything's pointing in that direction. Barring a stunning and unexpected setback, of course.
Bottom line: He's comin', he's comin'!