Testing waters or innocent comment? With Brett Favre, you never know
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This item would be worth a chuckle if it were about anybody but Brett Favre. But because it is Favre, you have to wonder if the soon-to-be 44-year-old is up to something.
Favre's longtime agent and close friend, Bus Cook, told the website AL.com on Monday night that he has never seen the quarterback look better. Keep in mind, Favre has not played in the NFL since ending a two-year stint with the Minnesota Vikings after the 2010 season.
Understand this about Cook: He doesn't do anything without Favre signing off on it.
Does Favre really want to return to the NFL? Probably not. Does he mind floating a trial balloon to see what happens? Absolutely not.
Nobody is better at pulling the puppet strings than Favre and any of us who have covered him know this and have willingly played along. The fact that 37-year-old Peyton Manning is having huge success in Denver likely has gotten Favre's competitive juices flowing.
Tommy Hicks, who wrote the piece for AL.com, opens by saying that Cook "doesn't want to start any rumors" before getting into how good the agent thinks Favre look these days.
Here are the next four paragraphs from Hicks' story:
Hold the phone. Before you think Favre's agent is dropping hints about yet another return to the NFL for the former Southern Miss standout, think again. He's merely making an observation.
Still, it's an interesting one.
"Today, he could play today,'' Cook said. "I saw him the other day. He's in the best shape I've ever seen him in, physically.
"His arms look like a blacksmith's arms. He rides a bike probably 30-50 miles a day. He runs four or five miles a day. He's coaching at the high school and they're undefeated. He loves it. His body fat is 7.5 percent and he weighs 225 pounds. He could play today, better than a lot of them out there today.''
The second paragraph is strategic because it enables Favre to laugh off the article and say it was just "Bus being Bus" if and when any questions are asked.
And what happens if an executive from one of the NFL's many quarterback-starved teams calls Favre?
Then it might be Favre and Cook getting the last laugh. Again.