As if there was any confusion as to whether the Vikings would roll out the red carpet for the return of Brett Favre
as it did this year after training camp broke, Vikings head coach Brad Childress removed any shred of a doubt at the owners meetings in Orlando Monday.
In an interview with ESPN's Rachel Nichols, Childress said the Vikings will be willing to wait for Favre to make a decision – even if it drags past the first preseason game or two.
"We've been able to see at what point he's been able to enter the situation and still be productive," Childress told Nichols. "Obviously with that as a known with a 40-year-old quarterback – there wasn't a big book on that before we start, now we have a least a pamphlet – we have an idea where that's at."
Childress spoke of Favre's decision to join the Vikings shortly after training camp broke in Mankato last year. He joined the team on a Tuesday, Aug. 18, and started against Kansas City on Friday, Aug. 21. It was a whirlwind that never let up, as he led the Vikings to their best start in more than a decade and their deepest playoff run since the 2000 season.
Perhaps even more important was how quickly and how deeply Favre bonded with his teammates. He commented that the hardest thing he would have to face was winning over Vikings fans that had hated him for so many years, but most of those fears were laid to rest early – as fans embraced Favre like few others who have joined the team from the outside.
While Childress said his preference would be to have Favre, who is technically under contract for 2010 already, to attend all the minicamps and training camp, he said when you have a 40-year-old Hall of Fame quarterback, you make exceptions to the rules.
"As a coach, you're a mother hen," Childress told ESPN. "You'd like him to be there for all of it. But I'm enough of a realist to know that's probably not going to be the case."
If Favre needed any more reassurance that the Vikings will roll out the red carpet for another Super Bowl run, Chilly may have just publicly given it to him. It may not stop the constant barrage of questions over the next few months if Favre doesn't make an announcement of his intention to return, but it's just another positive sign that fans can be cautiously optimistic of No. 4 returning to Minnesota for another season.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was asked at the owners meetings if he might be looking to trade offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie. While Wilf admitted to the Star Tribune he was disappointed in McKinnie's actions at the Pro Bowl, he said the team has no intention of trading the left tackle assigned to protect Favre's blind side.
Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the recently finished trial in which Kevin Williams and Pat Williams had their case heard in Minnesota state courts. Goodell said the league would abide by any decision rendered by Judge Gary Larson, but that it wouldn't prevent an appeal if the NFL lost. Goodell said for a drug testing policy to be effective, it needs to have uniformity and not have differing standards for players who ply their trade in different states.
There was a familiar face to Vikings fans bounding around the owners meetings Monday – former Viking Daunte Culpepper. Pepp is an unrestricted free agent and was seen making the rounds in hopes of landing a new deal. When he signed with the Lions two years ago, he acted as his own agent. He hasn't completely scrapped that idea, since he was pressing the flesh himself at the meetings.
On the subject of former Vikings, while QB Tom Brady isn't around for the Pats first voluntary workouts, Randy Moss is. The only problem was that he was late showing. But better late than never when it comes to a player like Moss, who can still bring it after 12 NFL seasons.
The NFL is expected to announce its prime-time slate of games for Kickoff Weekend and Thanksgiving Day as part of today's meetings.
Miami owner Steve Ross is going to make a presentation at Tuesday's owners meetings concerning the "Kangaroo" – a hand-held electronic devise used at Sun Life Stadium during the Super Bowl that provides different viewing choices for replays and live action for fans inside the stadium where the game is being played. During the regular season, the Kangaroo will also allow fans to check out highlights from other games (somewhere a fantasy football guy with season tickets weeps quietly with joy).
Favre won't be the highest-paid athlete in the Twin Cities sports market for long, after the Twins signed catcher Joe Mauer to a whopping eight-year, $184 million extension Monday that eclipsed the largest sports contract in Minnesota sports history – a six-year, $126 million deal signed by Kevin Garnett, then of the Timberwolves. Mauer will make $12 million this year, tying him with Favre and the T-Wolves' Al Jefferson as the highest-paid athletes in Minnesota sports for 2010.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
The Vikings continue to give Brett Favre all the space and time he needs to make a decision on his playing status for 2010. Brad Childress said they saw what Favre can do with all his experience and aren't pressuring him for an answer any time soon.
The Vikings continue to give Brett Favre all the space and time he needs to make a decision.