Copyright 2008

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Another day, another Brett Favre article.

Getting tired of it? Well, you're apparently not the only one.

While only two teams – the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – have reportedly been given permission to talk to the retired Green Bay Packers quarterback about a possible trade, the Bucs might be losing interest.

Favre, 38, wants to come out of retirement to play football, but Green Bay doesn't want him. Favre asked for his release from the team, but to no avail.

In the meantime, the Bucs and Jets reportedly have expressed an interest in acquiring Favre, which are trade scenarios that are more appealing to Green Bay than the idea of trading him away to an NFC North rival like Chicago or Minnesota.

The Packers reportedly have offered the three-time MVP $20 million as part of a marketing deal to remain retired. In the meantime, Favre has already submitted his paperwork for reinstatement, but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is waiting to sign it in hopes that the Packers front office and Favre can work something out and avoid an awkward situation in Green Bay should Favre report to Packers training camp, which he plans to do once he's reinstated.

Awkward is probably the best way to describe how Bucs officials have acted to Pewter Report and other media outlets since reports first surfaced that linked Favre to Tampa Bay.

At first, people in the Bucs organization simply refused to talk about Favre, and it wasn't the type of silence that would leave one feeling the Bucs were not interested in Favre. In fact, when team officials were first asked about Favre at the start of Bucs training camp, you couldn't help but feel like those same team officials feared to even mention Favre.

However, fear and Favre no longer need to be mentioned in the same breath in Lake Buena Vista, where the Bucs are nearly one week into their training camp practices.

The Bucs still have not commented either way on the Favre situation in terms of their level of interest, but some of the comments made by both team and league sources lately suggest Tampa Bay is losing more and more interest in Favre with every day that passes in the ongoing saga. That's if the team hasn't already lost interest in Favre all together.

Although he injured his calf muscle during Thursday morning's practice, Jeff Garcia is Tampa Bay's starting quarterback, and the team has four more signal callers in Luke McCown, Brian Griese, Chris Simms and rookie Josh Johnson. All but one of those players, Johnson, has started and won at least one game for the Buccaneers.

That's one of the reasons why Bucs general manager Bruce Allen has been extremely patient throughout this process. Tampa Bay figures it has a quarterback it is comfortable starting the season with in Garcia, but if a player like Favre were to fall in the Bucs' lap and require reasonable compensation, why not pull the trigger on such a deal?

No one knows for sure what the Packers are asking for in return for Favre, although some reports have suggested a first-round pick would be required.

What type of compensation would the Bucs be willing to offer the Packers for Favre? That's unclear, but a few league sources suggested Tampa Bay or any other team would be wise to offer different levels of compensation based on Favre's performance.

For example, a team could offer the Packers a third-round draft pick that has the potential to be a first-round selection if Favre were to come close to matching his 2007 production, where he completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 4,155 yards and tossed 28 touchdowns en route to leading the Packers to a 13-3 regular season record and appearance in the NFC Championship Game.

If Favre were to pass for over 3,000 yards and tossed 20 touchdowns en route to helping his new team win a division title, the pick could be a second-round selection.

And if Favre were to show that he should have remained retired and completely bomb with his new team, the Packers would simply get a third-round pick in next year's draft.

But compensation might not have anything to do with why the Bucs, who have the salary cap room for No. 4's $12 million base salary, might be backing off of their initial interest in Favre.

Some reports have suggested that Favre is not interested in playing for the Jets or the Bucs. Instead, he wants to play for the Packers or an NFC North division team like the Vikings.

If those reports are indeed true, Favre would essentially be rejecting the Buccaneers, and it wouldn't be the first time a retired quarterback did that to Tampa Bay (see Jake Plummer).

The Bucs filed joint grievances with the Broncos against Plummer for retiring unilaterally and refusing to play for Tampa Bay in 2007. Both sides eventually settled that grievance for $3.5 million, and the Bucs lost just a seventh-round pick to the Broncos as a result.

The Packers chose not to file a grievance against Favre when he decided to retire in March with two years remaining on his contract, and they lost the right to pursue any signing bonus money from Favre after 45 days had passed since Favre had retired.

However, if and when Favre is officially reinstated into the NFL, it would open the door for a grievance opportunity should Favre refuse to play for the team he might be traded to and re-retire.

It doesn't appear as though the Bucs are interested in getting tied up in another grievance against another quarterback, so don't expect Tampa Bay to attempt to trade for Favre just for the sake of pursing a portion of the signing bonus he received while playing in Green Bay.

At this point, Pewter Report would be surprised if the Bucs made a play for Favre at all. Why? Not only does it appear as though Favre is not interested in Tampa Bay, league sources that felt a few weeks ago that Favre could learn head coach Jon Gruden's playbook in 4-6 weeks now have their doubts about it this far into camp.

Those same sources have told Pewter Report that although he could eventually serve as an upgrade at the quarterback position for the Bucs, Favre could also serve as a serious distraction in Tampa Bay, and the team isn't quite sure how its players would handle the media circus that would naturally follow Favre.

All of these things point to the notion that the Bucs are attempting to gracefully bow out of the Favre trade possibility and do some damage control in the process.


A report surfaced in the St. Petersburg Times earlier this week that suggested the Dallas Cowboys are interested in trading for Bucs quarterback Chris Simms, but only if the team lowered its asking price of a mid-round pick.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has dismissed the report and was quoted as saying there was "nothing there" in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Reports from earlier this offseason suggested the Bucs turned down trade offers for Simms during the 2008 NFL Draft weekend, but sources have informed Pewter Report that those reports were erroneous and that the Bucs did not field a single call during draft weekend regarding Simms.

There are several reasons why Simms still is a Buccaneer. First, Tampa Bay paid him a $3 million signing bonus as part of the two-year deal he signed in December of 2006.

The Bucs see value in keeping Simms around as an insurance policy. Tampa Bay does not want rookie QB Josh Johnson to see the field in a 2008 regular season game, and if Jeff Garcia, Luke McCown or Brian Griese suffers a long-term injury in training camp or preseason, Simms likely would make the 53-man roster as the third-string quarterback.

Simms, a 2003 third-round draft pick, just doesn't carry as much trade value as some would like to believe. He has completed just 59.1 percent of his passes for 3,087 yards and 12 touchdowns and 19 interceptions in 15 career starts.

The 27-year-old signal caller threw one touchdown and nine interceptions in his last four starts with the Bucs and has finished the past two seasons on injured reserve due to an unfortunate spleen injury he suffered in Week 4 of 2006.

The Cowboys might be interested in finding a backup quarterback that can do a better job of competing with 40-year-old QB Brad Johnson, but league sources have suggested that some teams might be more likely to sign free agent quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper or Byron Leftwich, each of whom have had more success and playing experience in the NFL, before they part ways with a draft pick or player for Simms.

And if a team is interested in Simms, they likely will wait to acquire him until Tampa Bay releases him before the start of the regular season. It's not like there would be a huge bidding war for his services.

The best-case scenario for the Bucs would be for Simms to see a significant amount of playing time and have success in preseason, which could convince a team to part ways with a draft pick or player in order to trade for Simms. But as of right now, that seems wishful thinking.


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