NFL: Vikings coach Childress says he won’t give Brett Favre a deadline
By Chip Scoggins
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress spent some time with Brett Favre in the training room early Tuesday morning before Favre hopped a flight home to Mississippi.
They didn’t talk about Favre’s future, but the biggest question of the Vikings’ offseason lingers: Was Tuesday his final day at Winter Park?
“I don’t have an expectation,” Childress said. “I know he had a great experience here. I know it too well to know that emotions are a little bit raw right now. We’re still too close to it. He’s earned his time to be able to step away from it and talk to his family and figure out what he wants to do. But I don’t have a strong expectation one way or the other. It would not surprise me one way or the other.”
Childress said he wouldn’t give Favre a deadline for deciding whether he will return for his 20th NFL season or retire. Favre had tears in his eyes Sunday after the Vikings season ended in a 31-28 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC title game.
Favre took a considerable pounding in the game, suffering an injured ankle among other bruises. He said he needed time to decompress mentally and emotionally before contemplating his next move.
Favre, who statistically had one of his best seasons, is scheduled to earn $13 million next season. Childress said the team essentially will proceed this offseason with two game plans: one with Favre, one without him.
“You can plan both ways,” Childress said. “I don’t know. It’s up to him. But it’s not a deal where I need to put a gun to his head and say, ’I need to know in a week, two weeks, two months.’ I know you guys want it all in concrete and set in stone.”
Favre said Sunday that it wouldn’t take him months to decide, but his teammates didn’t seem too concerned if it did. All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams said it wouldn’t bother him if Favre skipped the Mankato portion of training camp and reported later, as he did last summer.
“You want to make sure you make a decision that is not an emotional decision and that (it is) an informed decision,” Childress said.
Regardless of Favre’s decision, Childress agreed that the team must develop a long-term answer at the position. The Vikings need to identify their quarterback of the future, and Childress hinted they might look to select one in the first round of the draft this spring.
“Eventually you would like to be able to do that,” Childress said. “But by the same token, you don’t want a round peg in a square hole. I am too far away from it right now to tell you what the quarterback class this year looks like. I know we’re picking down there at 30th (in the first round). We’ll just see what’s there and I’m sure that we will ably man that position one way or the other.”