All is quiet on the Favre front, but it's currently the 28th and he's promised a decision by Thursday, July 30th -- so you'd think the decision will come very soon. A couple current Viking players have chimed in on Favre this week, with Jared Allen speculating that there will be some sort of closure by the time camp gets underway and Ryan Longwell suggesting that Favre is about 50-50 on whether to come out of retirement. Here's what Longwell said:
In a phone interview today, Longwell said he thinks there is a “50-50″ chance that Favre ends his retirement to play for the Vikings and adds Favre’s concern now is about his body holding up for a 16-game season.
“I really don’t know,” Longwell said when asked to handicap the situation. “My gut says I think he has put in so much running and lifting with the [biceps] surgery and everything now that he would want to come back.”
Longwell added that he expects a decision by the time training camp practices kick off (Friday) -- and I think there can be virtually universal agreement that Thursday must be the absolute deadline for Favre, as Allen said. I also trust Longwell's instincts on this, since he spent nearly a decade in Green Bay as Favre's teammate. And that's why people should take note when he says something like this about his former teammate:
"I think we still have time. I think he wants to be in there for the full time even though he doesn’t necessarily enjoy training camp. He wants to be there."
Well, although Longwell set the odds at 50-50, it certainly sounds like he thinks the odds are better than that. And when you combine his interview with the latest report from ESPN's Rachel Nichols, in which she reported that Favre remains concerned about his ability to last the entire season, here's what I conclude:
- Nichols mentioned that every time Favre's reached for the phone to make that final call to the Vikings, he's held back due to reservations about his longevity in a 16-game season. If you're wondering why the process is continuing into these final days, there's your answer. Favre's arm is in good shape by all accounts, but he's dealing with some lingering concerns about lasting through a complete season.
- If I'm betting on this, I think Longwell's on the low side when he guesses that there's a 50% chance of Favre coming out of retirement. Nichols isn't the first reporter to imply that Favre has come very close to committing to the Vikings (before backing off at the last minute). Something in his mind has been holding him back from making that commitment, but is it enough to make this completely fall apart? I doubt it.