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Jets outflank Bucs for Favre’s services
Posted Aug 7, 2008 by Ira Kaufman
Updated Aug 7, 2008 at 12:46 AM
While some Buc fans may be thrilled that Tampa Bay failed to land Brett Favre on Wednesday, the franchise suffered a major blow in prestige when the Green Bay icon was instead traded to the Jets.
In effect, the Bucs just suffered their first loss of 2008.
Tampa Bay officials went to bed Tuesday night believing the Bucs were in prime position to satisfy Green Bay’s compensation demands and introduce Favre to the Bay area by the end of the week. Once Favre backed off his original demands of playing for either the Packers or the Vikings, Tampa Bay figured it held most of the significant cards in a potential high-stakes game vs. the Jets.
The Bucs won the NFC South last season while the Jets were awful in the AFC East, where New England has ruled during Tom Brady’s long run. Tampa Bay plays in the weaker NFC and the Buc defense is far superior to New York’s, theoretically giving Favre a better chance to play in the Super Bowl if he chose pewter.
The Bucs had more space under the cap than the Jets and could more easily afford Favre’s exorbitant salary. Tampa Bay’s West Coast offense appeared to be a better fit for Favre than New York’s attack, while Favre’s relationship with Jon Gruden was also considered an advantage for the Bucs.
But all those playing chips weren’t enough late Wednesday evening as Favre spurned the Bucs in favor of an AFC lightweight.
The decision was particularly galling for the Glazers, who have a history of getting what they want. Tampa Bay’s owners had proved their determination in the past by successfully going after the Buc franchise, securing Gruden’s services in 2002 and purchasing Manchester United, the world’s most popular soccer club.
In failing to land Favre, the Bucs must now regroup behind wounded leader Jeff Garcia, whose confidence has been eroded by Tampa Bay’s efforts to replace him as the franchise’s starting quarterback. And don’t forget, Garcia is still disgruntled about his contract situation, even while he recovers from a calf strain suffered a week ago.
With the regular season only a month away, the Bucs have to be concerned that their failed pursuit of Favre will have a lasting effect on the man entrusted to run Gruden’s offense.
Tampa Bay will undoubtedly say the franchise is anxious to turn the page, but the failure to consummate a deal with Favre could have lasting repercussions.