And Favre is Swayze...

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It all feels anticlimactic, no? Let's deal with the immediate: It has to be said that the Jets Favre experiment was a flop:

  • The Jets went 9-7, failing to make the playoffs despite committing $140 million to free agents such as Alan Faneca, Damien Woody, Tony Richardson and Calvin Pace and trading for Kris Jenkins.
  • Favre led the NFL with 22 interceptions and had a 79.3 second-half passer rating.
  • He threw two touchdowns and nine interceptions in the final five games. The Jets were 1-4 in those games and needed a miracle defensive play to beat the Buffalo Bills.
  • The Jets released Chad Pennington to make room for Favre. Pennington led the Dolphins to the AFC East championship after a 1-15 season in 2007. The Dolphins beat the Jets at the Meadowlands to clinch.

This really wasn't a hard call. It's extremely rare that a QB, at Favre's age, goes to a new team and does well. I have no idea why people bought into this one.

The longer term question is much more interesting: Where does Favre rank among the greats? The guy is obviously a HoFer. Personally, I've always found his habit throwing INTs at the worse possible moments grating. But short of Reggie White, I don't know that Favre ever played with another great player during his career at Green Bay. It feels wrong to say that, so folks can point it out, if I'm overlooking someone. But nothing is coming to mind.

I think he's above the Troy Aikmens Aikmans of the world, but still below the Marinos, the Unitases, and the Montanas. He's probably below Elway also. Maybe he's in the Steve Young range? The Jim Kelly range? The Fran Tarkenton range? It's tough with Favre to find someone comparable.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

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