No two situations are ever completely analogous, but for those wondering how the Brett Favre situation will play out in the end, look no further than what happened over the weekend to defensive end Jason Taylor. Certainly Taylor is no Favre in terms of the transcendental impact on a region or state, but there are more than a few commonalities. Both have been face-of-the-franchise players, both are future Hall of Famers, both have spent more than a decade with the same team.
The biggest difference is that the Miami Dolphins are in the midst of a blow-it-up, start-over renovation that even Taylor's biggest fans in South Florida knew meant his time there was over. Meanwhile, the Packers - 13-3 a season ago and rising playoff contenders - are trying to stay ahead of the curve in grooming a potential quarterback for the future and trying to break free of being held hostage by Favre's vacillations.
Clearly, Taylor's time in Miami had come to an end, but the persistent logjam over how new Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells could extract the most value for the defensive end was really broken by the urgency that pro football frequently brings to the table - injury.
Phillip Daniels, a 12-year pro who was projected as a starting defensive end for Washington, suffered a season-ending knee injury during the first day of drills at Redskins training camp Sunday. That occurrence advanced the agendas of two front offices in a way that the departure of Taylor from Miami - delayed for months - came about in a matter of hours. The rebuilding Dolphins got a second-round draft pick in 2009 and a sixth-round selection in 2010 and the playoff-hopeful Redskins fill a hole.
In historical terms, necessity is the mother of invention. In sports, it is the precursor of trades.
In the range of possibilities concerning Favre, that same exact situation is the most likely scenario.
Some contending team will get struck by lightning by an injury to its starting quarterback and then hope to catch some lightning in a bottle in the person of Favre. It could happen in training camp or early in the season. But it is going to happen.
Consider last season, when the Carolina Panthers desperately tried to keep their sinking playoff hopes alive by bringing Vinny Testaverde, then 43, out of retirement. The attrition rate for quarterbacks last season was even more alarming than usual. So what do you think the chances are that some team will find itself frantic for the services of a quarterback such as Favre by October?
Once that happens, the rest is inevitable. The price in terms of draft picks will be palatable to the Packers' front office and perhaps even to some Cheeseheads. The details of a restructured contract will be worked out. And Favre will finish his career wearing a uniform other than green-and-gold with results yet to be determined.
Just as the case with Jason Taylor.
That's how difficult things are often accomplished. Not with studied deliberation but rather in the rushed practicality of an urgent moment.