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Barnett: Packers in a better place this summer

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
I think Green Bay linebacker Nick Barnett gave us a solid preview of the Packers' company line during an appearance Wednesday on ESPN's "Jim Rome is Burning."

Asked about the possibility of Brett Favre signing with Minnesota, Barnett produced this fair, honest and ultimately diplomatic answer:

"There's two ways to look at it this situation. You can look at it from the fan point of view, and you say, 'How could he do this? He's been with us. He's been the face of the organization. We've poured our hearts into him, he's poured his heart into us.' And then for him to go play for the Vikings -- if he does [because] we don't know what's going to happen -- I could see how they feel betrayed.

"At the same point, you look at it from a player's point of view. He still wants to play football. He can't play football for the team he wants to play for, which is the Green Bay Packers. So he has to make a decision. Does he go play for the Vikings? There are a lot of other teams out there, too. Who knows what Brett is thinking. If he plays for the Vikings, if he puts on the purple jersey, he becomes the enemy -- just like anybody else. It's just part of the game."

I honestly haven't caught much Favre angst from Packers players this offseason. As we've discussed before, fans and front office officials take rivalries between NFL teams much more seriously than players. Barnett, however, did say the Packers are ahead of last year's team because Favre has moved on.

"I think the biggest thing for me is it was just a lot of drama [last year]. It was just too much going on, from both sides. I don't know what was said behind closed doors. I don't know what was said publicly, because I kind of stayed out of it. But the biggest distraction is we had people out there protesting for Brett and it was just crazy. I think we're already ahead this year without this distraction, without that drama, without all that underlying stuff. Now, we're just the Green Bay Packers. We're going out with Aaron Rodgers. We've got the new 3-4 defense and we're going out to try to dominate this year without any distractions."

We'll get you video of the interview as soon as it's available. Barnett, by the way, joked that his injured knee is "93.758" percent healed.