Last season, Brett Favre cost the Jets $12 million in salary.
This year, his mouth cost them another $125,000.
Per published reports, the NFL has issued three different fines for the failure of the Jets to disclose the arm injury that affected Favre’s performance during the final weeks of the 2008 season. NFL executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson fined the team $75,000, and Anderson fined G.M. Mike Tannenbaum and former head coach Eric Mangini $25,000 each for their roles in the ordeal.
As we’ve previously mentioned, the notion that Favre was injured down the stretch emerged not long after the 2008 season ended, with the 8-3 Jets fizzling to a 1-4 finish and missing the playoffs. At first, we believed that talk of an arm injury from Favre was simply cover for his poor play, given that his name hadn’t appeared on the injury report.
The league previously overlooked the reality that the Jets had fudged the injury report because, we believe, plenty of teams have not disclosed injuries to players who have played through them. Last year, the Dolphins barely disclosed any injuries throughout the course of the entire season. Also, Pats running back Laurence Maroney played with a broken shoulder — but didn’t appear on the injury report. And Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger admitted after Super Bowl XLIII that he played with a broken rib, even though he was not listed on the injury report in the days preceding the game.
As the NFL previously has explained it, the injury report focuses on availability, not effectiveness. So since Favre practiced and played with the condition, the Jets handled the situation no differently than any other team that has failed to disclose an injury to a player who continued to practice and play.
The difference in this case is that Favre wouldn’t let it go. And when he said last week that the problem was sufficiently bad that he should have been benched, the league had no choice but to take action — even though the league knew full well that Favre had pulled the sheet off the Jets’ shenanigans months ago.
In an unrelated note, the Vikings’ injury report will include each week the following entry under the “probable” designation: QB Brett Favre (arm, ribs, wrist, hand, finger, ankles, head, shoulder, knees, toes, back, front, groin, taint, swine flu, polio, lupus).