It was the biggest trade in New York Jets history -- Brett Favre for a conditional draft pick, which became a third-round choice. It took three weeks, from Mike Tannenbaum's first conversation with the Green Bay Packers to the night of the trade, Aug. 7, 2008.
On Tuesday, I asked Tannenbaum to reflect on the trade, starting with a fill-in-the-blank request: "Brett Favre was the (blank) trade I ever made."
After a pause, Tannenbaum said, "Most unpredictable. It was over a half-dozen times. There were a lot of ups and downs, right up until the last minute."
Tannenbaum said the biggest challenge was convincing Favre the Jets were a solid organization with a chance to win immediately. That wasn't easy because they had no one in the organization with any Favre ties, no one to act as the chief recruiter.
"It was a weird thing," Tannenbaum said. "It was a rare instance where the player had no connection to the organization. That was our biggest challenge. I felt like we had a great story to tell -- great people in the organization and a good team. I was hoping to get our day in court and let Brett see what we had to offer."
Then-coach Eric Mangini wasn't initially on board with the idea of trading for Favre, it was later revealed, but he did a ton of research on hunting (Favre's hobby) and made a strong lobbying effort, convincing the future Hall of Famer that he'd be able to hunt in New Jersey on off days.
I asked Tannenbaum for his most memorable moment during the process.
"Once we made the trade, and I was making plans to go get Brett (in Mississippi), he said to me, 'Do we have a dress code on away trips?'" Tannenbaum said.
Tannenbaum's reply: "Does that mean you're a Jet?"
"Do you have a dress code?"
"We don't anymore."
Favre, of course, had a preference for camouflage pants, which he seemed to wear almost every day. What, you thought he wore Wrangler jeans?
Yes, the Jets did a nice recruiting job, but the bottom line is, they were Favre's third choice, behind the Minnesota Vikings and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Favre later revealed that he found out about the trade while watching ESPN. So, basically, he choice was this: Play for the Jets or boycott the trade.
The Packers did well with the pick (No. 83 overall) they received in the deal. They traded it to the New England Patriots to move up for LB Clay Matthews at the bottom of the first round. The Patriots used the 83rd pick on WR Brandon Tate, who now will have a prominent role on offense now that Randy Moss is gone. He was traded to the Minnesota Vikings, where he'll get a chance to play with Favre.