BRETT BASHES MCKENZIE
Packers quarterback Brett Favre has a message for disgruntled cornerback Mike McKenzie -- shut your yap and get your ass back in the fold.
Favre didn't use those exact words, but the idea was the same when he spoke out for the first time regarding the five-year veteran's boycott of offseason activities and his demand for a trade.
"He should be here, we expect him to be here and the Packers have the upper hand," Favre said, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "He says he wants to be traded and all that stuff, but they don't have to do that. When paycheck time starts coming around and you're not getting one, it's amazing how quickly you start waking up.
"He is one of the top corners in this league, I'll say that," Favre added. "But when you sign a contract, you sign a contract. And we all make a lot of money and sometimes it doesn't seem fair that other guys make more who you know you're better than. But that's the way this business works and as bad as that may seem at times, it will work itself out. I hope he realizes that because he will hurt our football team if he's away, and he will really help our team when he's here. I don't know what [more] the team can do. I think they've done what they're supposed to do."
The cynical mind might wonder whether Packers coach/G.M. Mike Sherman asked Favre to speak out regarding the situation, given that the team generally has remained silent on the issue. But Favre's words aren't out of character -- he conveyed a similar message to receiver Sterling Sharpe in 1994, when Sharpe skipped practice a day before the season opener.
As to McKenzie, Favre hinted to the possibility that he's staying away at the behest of his agent, who might fear that the client will soften his position once he's elbow-to-elbow with his teammates. "Sometimes we don't make good decisions or [we] have people telling us the wrong things," Favre said.
We agree with Favre on this one. Too many agents manipulate their clients into taking unjustified risks with their careers. McKenzie has a good thing going in Green Bay, and no one forced him to sign the contract under which he's currently operating.
Yeah, he wants more money. But every player does. The reality is that there's a time to pursue the money, and McKenzie's time to pursue it again hasn't yet arrived. He might be regretting his contract in light of other deals given to other corners in other cities, but the market typically will go up after each given player gets paid. The challenge, then, for every player is to continue to do the things that will allow him to be the one to push the bar a bit higher down the road
Let's hear it...