What if Bucs had landed Favre?

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas
As reports continue to surface that Brett Favre might come out of retirement, again, I'm flashing back to last summer when the Buccaneers made an unsuccessful run at the quarterback.

No matter how much former general manager Bruce Allen tried to downplay Tampa Bay's interest at the time, the fact is the Bucs made a very serious run at Favre. Former coach Jon Gruden admitted that and so has Favre. The Jets ended up winning the sweepstakes.

It's all history now and the Bucs won't be involved in chasing Favre this time around. But, sometimes, it's worth revisiting history.

Would last season have been much different for the Bucs if they had been able to bring in Favre?

I say no. Failing to get Favre and having to turn things back to veteran Jeff Garcia wasn't a great situation. Garcia's relationship with Gruden wasn't great to begin with and the Favre fiasco made it even worse. Garcia was even benched briefly in favor of Brian Griese.

But all that quarterback shuffling didn't really have that much of a negative impact as the Bucs started 9-3. At best, they might have had the same start with Favre. The Jets started fast, too.

The Bucs and Jets both folded down the stretch and part of New York's problem was that Favre's age caught up to him. For reasons that went far beyond quarterback play, the Bucs also collapsed, losing their last four games and finishing out of the playoffs.

I say the collapse might have been even worse if Favre was with the Bucs. It might have started even sooner.

We'll never know for sure. But I say the Bucs would be in the exact same spot they are now even if they had landed Favre last year. There would have been an initial flurry of excitement, but it wouldn't have lasted. The Bucs still would have fallen apart and had no future at quarterback.

That's why Gruden and Allen are gone and Raheem Morris started his regime by drafting Josh Freeman.