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Matt Trowbridge: Time to put Favre on the block

Matt Trowbridge

We don't want you.

We don't want anyone else to have you.

Go away.

The Packers sound even less mature than their ever-vacillating quarterback.

Green Bay needs to stop worrying about protecting Favre's legacy.

"Let me worry about that," Favre told Fox Sports.

He's right. Pro sports teams supposedly put winning first. If the Packers truly valued winning ahead of sentiment, they wouldn't be going apoplectic about Favre wanting to play. They'd welcome it. Because it would make them better.

The Packers cannot definitively claim that Aaron Rodgers, who has never started a game in his three NFL seasons, is a better quarterback than the league's all-time leading passer. But he might be. If Green Bay doesn't start Rodgers soon, it risks Rodgers developing into a Pro Bowl quarterback for someone else, ala former Favre backups Mark Brunell and Matt Hasselbeck.

And rookie second-round pick Brian Brohm, whom many thought would go in the first round, offers another intriguing possibility.

This is why GM Ted Thompson told Sports Illustrated: "We don't have the answers. I wish someone would call me with the right answer."

Consider this a phone call, then: Trade Brett Favre.

How hard was that? Getting something for nothing, how can that not help your team? You want Favre to leave, and you can get an extra draft pick for sending him on his way, how is that bad? Who turns down a free draft pick?

Only someone who is worried about himself, not his team. Ted Thompson doesn't want to become the Cheese Curtain version of Mike McCaskey, reviled by his own fans.

He fears Favre will help another team win while Rodgers struggles - or gets injured - in Green Bay. Then bring Favre back, because that means Green Bay still needs him. If it doesn't, let him go somewhere that does.

It could be a win-win-win-win situation. That's how it worked out when the 49ers traded Joe Montana to the Chiefs in 1993. The 49ers won another Super Bowl with Steve Young. Montana led the Chiefs to the AFC title game. Montana went out on his own terms. And the Chiefs, despite giving up a No. 1 draft pick, a safety and third-round pick in the deal for Montana, remained strong, averaging 12 wins the first three years after Montana retired.

Favre could be worth a first- or second-round pick to Minnesota, which gave up a first and two third-rounders for defensive end Jared Allen. The Vikings have almost everything except a quarterback ... and a new stadium. The Twins and Gophers are getting new stadiums. Longtime Minnesota columnist Sid Hartman wrote Favre could help the Vikings get one, too.

Chicago also has a chance to get back to the Super Bowl with the right quarterback. Maybe that's Kyle Orton. Or a suddenly-he-gets-it Rex Grossman. Or Brett Favre? It would be worth a second-round pick to find out.

If I'm the Ravens or Bills, I'd also part with a 2009 No. 2 for Favre. He'd make either team a favorite to reach the playoffs.

And he'd pad any team's bottom line. Favre would be especially valuable, marketing-wise, to Chicago and Minnesota, two teams surrounded by thousands of Packer fans living in their midst. This could be their chance to convert Favre worshippers to their side. And improve their team.

And if Aaron Rodgers works out, the Packers lose nothing.

Green Bay's only other choice if it won't let Favre compete with Rodgers is to make Favre a backup. But that's not really a choice; it's a dare. The idea would be to embarrass and frustrate Favre into quitting.

But if he doesn't quit, the Packers lose a messy game of chicken.

The safest move is to trade Favre. Even if that means making him a Bear or Viking.

Matt Trowbridge can be reached at (815) 987-1383 or mtrowbridge@rrstar.com.