As former Jet quarterback Chad Pennington celebrated a division title yesterday, his replacement stood battered defeated. Brett Favre was acquired by the Jets back in August to lead re-energize a slumping franchise and lead the Jets back into the playoffs. He failed when it mattered most.
After leading the Jets on a five-game winning streak into late November in which Favre posted a quarterback rating of 98, the future Hall of Fame quarterback struggled mightily during the season’s final five months. Favre threw just two touchdown passes and nine interceptions during a late-season collapse that pushed the Jets out of the playoff picture. He suffered through his most game of the year in yesterday’s loss to the Dolphins, as he tossed three interceptions, one of which was returned 23 yards for a touchdown.
With Favre awaiting the MRI results on his injured shoulder, his decision on whether to return for his 19th season remains in doubt.
“The obvious choice would be a quick decision based on what happened. It’s a hasty, irrational decision based on what’s happened. I’ll go home and get away for a week or so, we haven’t really talked about it,” Favre explained yesterday.
Today owner Woody Johnson explained that he hopes to have Favre back for his second season with the Jets, but noted that it’s “too early” to begin conversing with him about next year.
Even though Favre could be facing a possible shoulder surgery, Johnson believes it is realistic to bring Favre back.
“I think it is realistic. It depends on what Brett wants to do. But he hasn’t been through a camp yet. And so this will be another year for him to get more comfortable with the system we have,” Johnson said.
While the quarterback swap of Favre for Pennington appeared to be a no brainer for the Jets back in August, yesterday’s result proved otherwise. As Pennington and the Dolphins moved on to the playoffs, the Jets prepared for a long offseason. The Jets quarterback tossed 22 touchdowns, but he also led the league with 22 interceptions. Despite watching several questionable passes from the Jets’ quarterback float to opposing defenders, Johnson believes the team’s slump was far-reaching.
“I’m sure Brett would say he wishes he hadn’t made those. But that’s, he’s a Hall of Famer. He’s made those his career, but he’s made the other ones, too,” he said.
Favre could not save the Jets as their season spiraled out of control, but the Jets’ owner remains attached to the now rusty quarterback. Johnson said Favre “adds a lot to the team that’s positive,” but did not expand his response.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum did not put a timetable on bringing back Favre, noting that the situation will be “prominent” but pointing out that other roster decisions are to be made.
Several players were approached about Favre’s situation today and many felt that spending a full training camp with the quarterback would pave a solid ground heading into next season. Favre’s first full practice following his trade to the Jets was Aug. 9 , leaving him with just over three weeks to learn a new offensive system.
“Whatever he decides I feel like he still has some great football left in him. He wasn’t able to spend the off-season program with the team, so I definitely think that plays a role into it,” wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery said. ”For him to be able to spend the off-season with a lot of the guys, I think that will help out a lot.”
As the dust settles on the Jets’ late-season debacle, the question is, do they really want Brett back?