Brett Favre isn’t sure whether Javon Walker cares what he thinks of his receiver’s holdout, but just in case, the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback made it clear.
“If Javon wants to know what his quarterback thinks, and I would think he might, I’d tell him he’s going about this the wrong way,” Favre said. “When his agent tells him not to worry about what his teammates think and all that stuff, I’d tell him I’ve been around a long time and that stuff will come back to haunt you.”
Favre, 35, expressed his disappointment with Walker during a telephone interview from his Hattiesburg, Miss., home. He said he was upset when he heard Walker intended to sit out the season if the Packers don’t renegotiate his contract. Walker, the Packers’ first-round draft pick in 2002, has two years remaining on his existing deal. He is scheduled to make $515,000 this season and $650,000 in 2006. Walker had a breakout season last year when he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He played in his first Pro Bowl in February.
“I would’ve never thought it would be a guy like Javon,” Favre said. “I guess in this business nothing should surprise you, especially what happens when guys have a little bit of success. Some guys handle it the right way and some guys don’t.”
Favre said Walker’s holdout reminded him of Sterling Sharpe’s decision to hold out the night before the Packers hosted the Vikings in the 1994 season opener.
“Nowadays you’re seeing more and more guys pulling that stunt,” he said. “If guys continue to do that and are successful getting away with it, then I’ll be gone, but I think the game will be ruined. My reaction to Javon’s situation was ‘Here we go again.’ “Javon has tremendous potential. We got to see some of that last year. The sky’s the limit for that guy, and I’d be the first to defend him, but he’s going about it the wrong way. What happened to honoring your contract and saying, ‘Let’s work as a team to see if we can get this done?’ Why not go about it that way?
“Maybe I’m old-school, but I always thought you honor a contract. Sure, sometimes guys pass you up in salary, and maybe it’s a lesser player, but it’s all based on what a team has as far as value in that person.”
Favre left no doubt as to how he thinks the Packers should handle the situation.
“I sure hope the Packers don’t give in to him,” he said. “I don’t sit up in the front office, and I don’t talk to them — regardless of what people might think — and tell them who to draft and who not to draft. They don’t ask me, and it’s not my job. My job is to throw passes and be a leader.
“That’s why I decided to speak up. I need to be a leader and even though I may not like having to do it, I think some things needed to be said.”
Favre was excused from the team’s post-NFL draft minicamp. He heard of Walker’s decision to hold out on Thursday evening. He said Walker might be wise to go to General Manager Ted Thompson directly and try to work out a new deal.
“Whatever happened to buying into the team concept?” he said. “If Javon does what he’s supposed to do, and what he is paid a lot of money to do, he’s paid to go to the Pro Bowl. He wasn’t complaining two years ago, and until you do go (to the Pro Bowl), you don’t even think twice about what they’re paying you.”
If Walker’s stance doesn’t change, Favre said, “I’d just as soon go without him. He’s a great player. I think he can help us. He’s likeable and easy to get along with, but I’m guessing he’s getting the wrong advice, and he’s buying into that.
“I just don’t see much good that can come from it. If it gets time for the start of training camp and he’s not in, I think it’ll start bothering him, and he’ll be here. But once again, nothing should surprise you. “We’ve got guys who’ll give great effort. Stars are made that way. Look what happened when Sterling left. Robert Brooks stepped up. We can win without him.”
He's not a Ram, but favre's the bomb. Ram On!