Brett Favre with Panthers? Not

With all due respect to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, the real March madness started Sunday.

It came when St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters threw out this line near the bottom of his column.

“Don't discount the possibility of Brett Favre, who turns 42 in October, returning next season, but not with the Vikings. Maybe Carolina.’’

Yep, it’s time for one of the rites of spring – talk of yet another Favre comeback. I can't argue with Walters that there's a possibility Favre may play next spring. Recent history has shown us that’s a possibility.

But playing in Carolina?

Not happening. Here’s why: Even when a younger Favre was making his previous comebacks, the Panthers had no interest in him. They needed improvement at quarterback then and they need it now. Plus, the Panthers weren’t holding the No. 1 draft pick during any of the previous Favre comebacks.

They’re shoulders-deep in a youth movement right now and a grandfather at quarterback doesn’t fit the profile. The Panthers will either draft a quarterback (Cam Newton or Blaine Gabbert) or go out and trade for one or sign one as a free agent. When the lockout ends, guys like Carson Palmer, Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb could be available.

Those guys aren’t rookies, but they’re a lot younger than Favre. New coach Ron Rivera has a bit of a honeymoon period and doesn't need to do anything desperate. He and general manager Marty Hurney know this is the time to get a quarterback for the long term and they’re not looking to lure anyone out of retirement.