Favre, Walker say rift was over long ago

Brett Favre (Adam Bettcher/Getty)

Brett Favre and Javon Walker made headlines in 2005 after Favre criticized Walker for holding out. Five years later, with the two reunited in Minnesota, they both say they are on good terms.

The Vikings' need at wide receiver with the loss of Sidney Rice and questions surrounding the availability of Percy Harvin from week to week led them to make a pair of moves this week – signing Javon Walker and trading for Greg Camarillo.

Walker is no stranger to QB Brett Favre, who helped make Walker a star in Green Bay. But, while the two were winning games with the Packers, a rift between them was created prior to the 2005 season. Coming off a breakout season in 2004, Walker staged a minicamp holdout in search of a restructured contract. Favre was publicly critical of Walker for holding out and, when he did return prior to the regular-season opener, a torn ACL ended his season before it could get going.

As it turned out, that would be the last pass Favre completed to Walker. He was traded to Denver and then signed a huge free-agent contract with the Raiders that turned out to be good money gone bad.

The two are now reunited with the Vikings, but their feud is long since over. Walker said it's all water under the bridge at this point.

"That was over back in Green Bay," Walker said. "That was just something that was going over and everybody knows in the NFL it's always a business decision, at that time being years ago. But we've been over that. I'm excited to be here and reconnect where we left off in Green Bay."

Favre echoed those words. When asked if he and Walker have "buried the hatchet," he said there's no reason for concern because that fence was mended years ago.

"There was never any hatchet to bury," Favre said. "Javon and I are good friends. We stayed in contact long after he left (Green Bay). That makes for good TV stuff, but he and I are fine. I think he can help us. I want him to have a great year. He deserves it. He's a great guy and what happened in the past is long over with. We need him, as we need a lot of these guys, to have a productive year I order for us to be good. I'm happy to have him."

THURSDAY NOTES

  • The Vikings franchise continues to suffer due to the lack of a viable stadium, according to Forbes magazine's annual list of franchise values. The Vikings are said to be worth $774 million, down more than $60 million from last year. That ranks them 30th in the league, ahead of only Oakland ($758 million) and Jacksonville ($725 million).

  • In the Forbes story, it said the Vikings' biggest franchise asset is "the termination of (the) lease at the Metrodome, which expires after the 2011 season. If (owner Zygi) Wilf does not have an agreement for a new stadium in Minnesota, he will probably move the franchise to Los Angeles."

  • The average value of an NFL franchise, according to Forbes, is $1.02 billion. The Cowboys lead the way with a franchise value of $1.8 billion.

  • In a debate Wednesday between the top three candidates for governor of Minnesota, all three agreed that the state needs to get involved in building a new stadium so as not to risk losing the Vikings. Sitting Gov. Tim Pawlenty has long since vowed not to use state money to build a new stadium. Pawlenty, who has presidential aspirations, isn't running for another term as governor.

  • Favre has restructured his contract. His base salary dropped from $13 million to $11.6 million, but he is receiving a $4.5 million signing bonus and could reach another $4 million in incentives, according to Pro Football Talk. The length of the two-year contract he signed last August remains the same, meaning it's only good through this season.


    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.
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