Brett has "the itch" to come back and play. Here are the 5 top attributes of Favre that the Pack will miss in his absence if he's not in uniform this fall.
Experience - Might as well start with the obvious. Favre has started 255 regular-season games for the Packers, not to mention the Super Bowls and other playoff experience. What has Aaron Rodgers done that gives you confidence he'll be able to handle the pressure of the postseason, if he can get the Pack there?
Talent - Favre won 3 straight MVP's, and by all accounts, was very close to that form last year. He can still throw the ball harder than almost anyone, but also has touch as needed. What are the odds of Rodgers winning even one MVP?
Health - Very few starting quarterbacks can consistently stay healthy over the course of an NFL season. Matt Schaub, Matt Leinart, Jake Delhomme, Joey Harrington... all failed to make it through the season last year. Brett Favre, while older than he used to be, has yet to miss a start, long-since the record holder for consecutive starts. Brady and Manning are consistent as well, but how many other quarterbacks can you say that about? There's no guarantee Aaron Rodgers will even start 12 games if he's the starting QB going into the season. Favre is as close to a guarantee as it gets.
Leadership - Favre and his gray hair will command a lot more respect in that huddle than Rodgers. When the holder of almost every passing record in the books talks, you listen. Never mind that he's been the GB starter since the rookies were in grade school. Rodgers could be a great leader, but it takes time to establish that.
Fun - No QB in the league has more fun on and off the field than Brett Favre. That attitude will be irreplaceable, both on gameday to break the tension and during practices to keep things light but focused. Aaron Rodgers will be too busy trying to fill Favre's shoes to think about having fun.
Ever heard the expression "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"? The Pack hosted the NFC Championship last year with a very young team. If given the choice, do you really want to try to repeat that with a new player at the most important position? You could be bringing in Brady or Manning, and it might not be as good next year because there's a learning curve for any quarterback in a system they haven't run before. The QB has to learn and the coaches have to learn what the QB can do well.
This year's schedule will not be a cakewalk for the Pack. The NFC North is not the best division in football, but the Vikings have a formidable running game and defense, and the Bears will be healthier (though maybe not better). The matchup with the NFC South is also benificial, but that's where it ends. The Pack plays the AFC South this year, which was clearly the best division in football last year. In addition, as division winners from last year, the Pack gets Dallas and at Seattle for its other two games, while their competitors the Vikings play NYG and at Arizona. In my mind, that screams no wild card from the NFC North, but 11-5 would almost certainly win the division. I'm pretty confident Favre could win 11, but Rodgers? No idea.
So what are the arguments for going with Rodgers even if Favre wants to play?
The building for the future concept should hold no weight because GB was in the NFC title game last year, and the future is now. With the current parity in the NFL and the salary cap, Green Bay's window of opportunity with this group may not last long enough for Rodgers to learn the system and become a star. In addition, Rodgers doesn't even appear to have the full confidence of the Pack front office anyway. Otherwise, why did they draft Brohm in the second round and Flynn in the seventh?
No one wants to go through this retirement snafu every year, but is it really so bad that you're willing to pass up having a first ballot Hall of Famer play for another year when he's still playing great? I would think not.
One recent SC poll showed that half the country thought the Pack should not take Favre back. The Pack would be quite foolish to pass up a chance to have Favre play another year, for all the reasons listed above. But that assumes that Brett wants to and would commit to it. If he's in top form, the Pack should put him on the field. For another argument from this point of view, check out ESPN.