General Manager Bruce Allen is not surprised when any player expresses interest in coming to Tampa
Late Wednesday evening, the Green Bay Packers traded quarterback Brett Favre to the New York Jets, ending a protracted saga that began when Favre elected to end his five-month retirement from the NFL.
The Packers chose to trade Favre after the two sides concluded that his tenure with the team could no longer work for either party. Because Tampa had figured heavily in the rumor mill surrounding Favre's possible trade destination, Buccaneers General Manager Bruce Allen fielded questions about the situation on Thursday morning at the team's training camp.
Though making it clear that the team will always look into any possible move that will make the team stronger, Allen said the Buccaneers' involvement in Favre talks never got substantively deep before the quarterback ended up in New York.
"From the beginning I think it was clear that it was a bad situation in Green Bay and they had to deal with it," said Allen. "It was clear that they were not interested in sending him to any team in the NFC. They were looking for a place that seemed to fit Brett and they found it in the Jets."
Allen, who says he spoke with Green Bay General Manager Ted Thompson twice over the last two months, was not surprised that Favre was linked to Tampa Bay.
"There are quite a few players who have interest in Tampa Bay," said Allen. "Not getting into the tampering rules of the league, I think that is a credit to what we are doing. This system would fit a lot of players. I am going to let him talk about his situation. There were about 18 teams that had permission to talk to him. The fact that people want to play here, we consider that a credit to us."
The same was obviously true of Jeff Garcia in the spring of 2007. Garcia led the Buccaneers to the NFC South title last fall and became the third Buccaneer quarterback ever selected for the Pro Bowl. The team is supremely confident in Garcia heading into his second year as a starter and does not believe the attention paid to the Favre situation will distract its quarterback or anyone else on the roster.
"I think you have all [hear from] our players in the last two weeks" said Allen. "If you have seen all of their quotes, everyone was positive on Jeff. I think if you went to our dining room you would see a lot of people laughing about the speculation, so I do not think it will affect our football team.
"Jeff's a great competitor. His number one attribute is competitive skills. Right now, we want to get Jeff healthy and back onto the practice field and nothing will change the competitive nature of Jeff Garcia."
Allen responded to several other questions regarding the Favre situation:
On how extensive his trade talks with Green Bay were: "I would not classify them as extensive at all. They had talked to just about every team in the league, it sounds like. By reading all your stuff and the people that were covering it close,
On classifying his interest in Brett Favre: "It never really got to that. We always look at any scenario we can find that can help the Buccaneers. That is our number one priority, helping this team. If it was going to be a double or triple trade to help the Bucs we would have done that."
On Brett Favre's statements about the Buccaneers: "The fact that a player wants to play for this organization is a compliment to this organization. I am not going to ever turn my back on someone who wants to come to this organization and help us compete for a title."