Welcome to “Pivotal moments in Falcons history,” a new series examining the most important moments in Atlanta Falcons history. This team has experienced its fair share of ups, downs, and embarrassing moments. Let’s re-live the mediocrity.
The day is April 21, 1991. The Falcons hold the 33rd overall pick in the NFL Draft. Jerry Glanville doesn’t want the Falcons to select Southern Miss quarterback Brett Lorenzo Favre, but they do it anyway. A year later, the Falcons trade Favre to the Packers for a first round pick in the 1992 NFL Draft. Favre goes on to earn 11 Pro Bowl nods, win 3 (consecutive) MVP awards, and win a Super Bowl. In 2016, he’s inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The conflict between Jerry Glanville and Favre was real. It wasn’t just that Glanville didn’t want the Falcons to draft Favre; Glanville went out of his way to throw a public hissy fit about it after the fact. He told reporters it’d take a plane crash for him to play Favre. He stuck Favre on the scout team and expected him to like it.
To some extent, Glanville’s frustration was warranted, because Favre was immature and relied on his natural talent when he should’ve been working his butt off to earn his spot. With Pro Bowl quarterback Chris Miller firmly entrenched as the starter, Favre should’ve kept his head down, put in the work, and waited for his opportunity. Instead, he drank to excess, pouted, and made sure his time as a Falcon was short-lived.
If the Falcons stuck with Favre, it would’ve paid dividends. There’s no denying that fact. It’s possible Green Bay was uniquely situated to draw out Favre’s potential over time, but even if he didn’t have the same ceiling in Atlanta, he still would’ve made the Falcons a better football team over the course of the 1990s and early 2000s. (That, of course, assumes he would’ve wanted to stay in Atlanta over that period of time.)
So what was the long-term impact of the Brett Favre debacle? Well, to be honest, it’s hard to quantify. But it sure would’ve been nice to see him play out a Hall of Fame career in Atlanta, huh?
Your thoughts, Falcoholics?