Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Jets' QB Gamble

It's hard to touch the Favre soap opera without feeling dirty, but against my better judgment... the Jets may have actually made a smart move in acquiring him.

Earlier in the offseason we puzzled over the Jets' offseason strategy, in which they paid big for veteran players despite coming off a 4-12 season when rebuilding seems the right approach. In particular, we questioned the decision to acquire veteran o-linemen like Alan Faneca and Damien Woody when there wasn't a quarterback in place to make the offense run, having only the weak-armed Pennington and raw Clemens as their choices.

I still think the Jets should have gone into rebuilding mode, but, in the context of their "win-now" strategy, for this year, getting Favre makes some sense, especially as it was done on the cheap. Although the memory of it has been erased by an embarrassing INT to end the postseason and an even more embarrassing offseason, Favre did have a very good 2007 season with 28 TDs and 15 picks (his lowest total since 2001). If he can come close to that this year, it would be a considerable improvement over what either Pennington (who'll find a new address soon) or Clemens is likely to do this year, and, as it's hard to imagine Favre playing more than a season in NY, it shouldn't delay Clemens's development by very long.

And if Favre can't produce for the Jets? They only have to give up a fourth-round pick; as the compensation for Favre depends on his playing time and the Jets' winning, they only have to give up a high round pick to Green Bay if the experiment works.

The Jets are a good fit in another way: while sending a new face into a QB controversy might seem to increase the chaos, you don't have the problem of undermining an established starting QB (as would have been the case in Tampa, for example).

Of course, there are some nightmare scenarios - Favre plays poorly and the coaching staff doesn't have the guts to bench him, or his careless, self-absorbed attitude rubs off on the rest of the team.

But, for a team like the Jets that has already shelled out to put other pieces in place to try for a return to the playoffs, this trade might be a risk worth taking. The Favre saga as a whole has made a lot of parties look bad - Favre, the Packers, and most of the sports media for its obsessive, gossipy coverage of the whole thing - but the Jets might end up looking good.


1 comment:

  1. I agree. And it is indeed funny how little actual football debate regarding Brett's trade has penetrated through the hoopla.

    Brett v. Chad--who'd have thought a Fins-NYJ opener would be so interesting?