It isn't often that football guys can send people to their dictionaries. More times than not, they either completely conceal what their true meaning is or say it in such blunt terms that the meaning is clear even to the young and dumb.
But when ESPN reported Tuesday that the Vikings had suspended talks with quarterback Brett Favre
about coming out of retirement, some fans hit the panic button – believing that the last month of rumors and innuendo were somehow washed away. That's probably far from the truth.
In fact, if anything, it might even solidify the chances that Favre becomes a Viking.
The ESPN story cited unnamed "team and league sources" in saying that the Vikings called Favre's agent Bus Cook Tuesday to say that they were suspending their pursuit of Favre. It was claimed the decision was made when Favre didn't show up for the OTA practices that began Tuesday. Considering Favre is reported to have the surgery to detach his partially-torn right biceps tendon, it is unclear what exactly he would have done at the practices other than stand on the sidelines. And Favre isn't under contract yet, so there is the question of how the Vikings could have expected him to show up.
But more important, the emphasis should be on one word – suspend.
Suspend can mean many things. Anyone with a non-paperback dictionary can find several definitions of that word. Here are a few:
"To bar for a period from a privilege, office or position – usually as a punishment."
"To cause to stop for a period; interrupt."
"To hold in abeyance; defer."
"To cease for a period; delay."
None of those definitions make any mentioning of something being finalized, completed or over. All it means is that it will be delayed or pushed back, as in the Vikings won't pursue Favre until later this month or early July. Given Favre's current medical rehab, that shouldn't come as a surprise.
For now, perhaps the Favre story can slide back to the rear burner and the Vikings can get through their final week or two of OTAs talking about the players who are there, not the one who isn't signed or even currently able to throw a pass with any significant zip.
Talks are suspended. But not over. Surely this story has a couple more lives left to it.
The attorney for Pat Williams and Kevin Williams said that his clients are being unfairly tested by the league. Attorney Peter Ginsberg filed paperwork in Hennepin County District Court alleging that the league has singled out the Williamses for additional steroid testing beyond that normally given to players. He contends that, as long as the legal fight over the four-game suspensions handed down by the league to the Williamses is still be waged in court, they can't be treated any differently than other players and subjected to additional random testing.
In other court news, the NFL Players Association has asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to speed up its process on hearing the appeal of the federal case in which the judge threw out all claims made by NFLPA in its case representing the Williamses and three New Orleans Saints players last month. The players association is asking that the process be pushed ahead to assure that the appeal will be heard before the Sept. 13 regular season opener – a time in which the players would begin serving their suspensions barring the district court ruling being overturned. The Williams Wall case is all the remains of the federal suit and both of those claims were remanded to Minnesota state court.
Former NFL coach Steve Mariucci chimed in on the Favre saga Tuesday, telling USA Today that not only is Favre intent on returning to play, but that his wife Deanna is on board.
A blog on the website of the Green Bay Post-Gazette claims that someone in Favre's inner circle has reserved 25-30 hotel rooms at the Midway Motor Lodge near Green Bay for the weekend the Vikings play the Packers at Lambeau Field. Apparently, if Brett is going to make his return to Lambeau as a Viking, he wants a lot of his peeps with him. The report stated, however, that the reservations were booked two months ago – lending to speculation that Favre's interest in playing for the Vikings in 2009 dated back to while he was still technically under contract with the Jets.
The Vikings reportedly suspended their pursuit of Brett Favre, but the story is likely far from over.
The Vikings reportedly suspended their pursuit of Brett Favre, but the story is likely far from over