In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
In a trade that barely grabs any notice, the Atlanta Falcons send quarterback Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers for the 19th overall pick in the NFL Draft. The deal was considered high risk for Green Bay, as Favre’s rookie season was less than stellar and there were several questions over his long-term health of the quarterback that would go on to win three MVPs for the Packers.
Brett Favre was born on October 10, 1969, in Gulfport, Mississippi. After high school, the only school to offer a scholarship was nearby Southern Mississippi. It would not take long for him to take over the start job at quarterback. While the Eagles did not receive much television coverage, he began to fill out his resume, leading Southern Miss to an upset of #6 Florida State in his Junior season in season opener 1989. A year later, Favre showed his toughness as he returned for a severe car crash that saw him lose part of his small intestine in time to lead the Eagles to an upset of Alabama.
In the 1991 NFL Draft, Brett Favre was selected in the second round with the #33 overall pick. Ron Wolf at the time was the Assistant General Manager of the New York Jets a team that was poised to take Favre one pick later. In Atlanta, the pick was not well received by Coach Jerry Glanville, who was not a fan of the rookie’s gunslinger mentality. Brett Favre’s rookie season was nothing short of a disaster in Atlanta, as he threw a pick-six on his first pass attempt. Favre attempted only four passes in 1991, none were completed with two interceptions, while he totaled -11 yards the result of a sack.
The Falcons meanwhile went to the playoffs and upset the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs with Chris Miller under center. With Jerry Glanville preferring Miller, the Falcons began shopping Favre after his rookie season. In the meantime, Ron Wolf became the new General Manager with the Green Bay Packers. The Packers were a team in ruin at the time. Since winning the first two Super Bowls, the Packers had made the playoffs just twice in 1972 and 1982, with the latter being a strike season. Wolf still being impressed by Brett Favre pushed hard to acquire him, even though Packers team doctors advised heavily against it as he was diagnosed with the same hip condition that ended Bo Jackson’s career. However, knowing the upside Ron Wolf overruled the doctors and made the deal in the middle of February.
The Falcons received the 19th overall pick from the Packers, which they used to select Tony Smith who had been a teammate of Brett Favre at Southern Miss. Smith played just three years with the Falcons, rushing for 329 yards before being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the 1995 expansion draft. Brett Favre meanwhile became the Packers quarterback in Week 3, and never missed a start over the next 16 years, starting a record 238 straight games to become the NFL’s all-time ironman. Favre revitalized the Packers franchise leading them to two consecutive Super Bowl appearances, winning Super Bowl XXXI. He also would take home three NFL MVP awards, before briefly retiring in 2008.
Brett Favre changed his mind about retiring, but the Packers moved on to Aaron Rodgers, leading to a somewhat ugly ending to his time in Green Bay. Favre went on to spend one season with the New York Jets and two with the Minnesota Vikings before stepping down for good in 2010. He was later enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Canton and had his #4 retired by the Packers.