You knew the nonsense just had to start again sometime, didn't you?

Well, you were right.

Brett Favre was released from the reserve-retired list by the New York Jets last night, making the now decrepit former quarterback a free agent if he decides to again come out of retirement.

Which absolutely guarantees an avalanche of stories that Favre is considering climbing off the tractor in Mississippi.

The only reason we've been spared such nonsense so far was the trade document between the Jets and the Green Bay Packers.

When Favre was dealt to New York last August, the Packers had it written into the agreement that, if the quarterback was traded to an NFC North team, the Jets would be required to send Green Bay three No. 1 draft picks.

That, obviously, was to keep No. 4 from being "flipped" through New York to Minnesota or Chicago.

Since Favre is now an unrestricted free agent, that condition no longer applies. And Minnesota still doesn't have an NFL-caliber QB.

According to the Associated Press, the 39-year-old three-time MVP had requested the release several weeks ago through agent Bus Cook.

Here we go. Again.

Staying put. Two of the biggest stories leading up to the NFL draft never materialized.

They were, of course, the reported trades of Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Cleveland's Braylon Edwards.

The two wide receivers are still getting their mail in Arizona and Cleveland.

Two of the rumored destinations, Philadelphia and New York, drafted wide receivers in the first round, so neither the Eagles nor the Giants will be making a post-draft trade for either of the disgruntled receivers.

One of the reasons the Eagles moved up from 21st in the first round to 19th was because the Giants were preparing to move up from 29th to grab Missouri's Jeremy Maclin. With New York about to get an instant replacement for Plaxico Burress, the Eagles brain trust forgot all about the decade-long party line that said, "We are happy with our wide receivers."

So Maclin now wears green, Hakeem Nicks has the task of replacing Burress, and Boldin still wears Cardinals red.

Common sense told you Boldin would stay in the desert.

"There never was much of a chance of him being traded Saturday," wrote Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Ariz. "There just aren't many clubs willing to pay Boldin $8 million to $10 million per season.

"And despite what you might have heard, the Cardinals never were going to give Boldin away for a second-round pick."

That story isn't over, though. Boldin is represented by Drew Rosenhaus, who, as Eagles fans recall, isn't bashful about generating negative publicity.

Who's Donald Brown? The Eagles weren't the only team to surprise their fans in the first round of the NFL draft on Saturday. Half of Indiana fainted when the Colts selected Connecticut running back Donald Brown at No. 1.

They shouldn't have. The Colts have faded a bit since winning the Super Bowl after the 2006 season, and one of the reasons was an absence of a running game - Indianapolis finished 31 among 32 teams in rushing last season.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound Brown led NCAA Division I with 2,083 rushing yards last season.

Colts GM Bill Polian called him a game breaker.

"Our national scouts looked at film of him the other day and they were just gushing about him," Polian told the News-Sentinel of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Bad timing. A big draft loser was Ohio State running back Beanie Wells.

Not that Wells fared all that badly. He was drafted at No. 31 by the defending NFC champion Cardinals, who effectively made him the starter yesterday when they released onetime superstar Edgerrin James. He should make out nicely.

But had Wells said goodbye Columbus after his sophomore season, when he gained 1,609 yards for a team that went to the BCS championship game, most observers thought he would have been a top-10 selection.

But he missed three games with injuries last fall and nearly fell out of the first round entirely.

Trading down. Speaking of the Browns, who still have Edwards to deal with, new coach Eric Mangini took a huge risk by trading down three times in the first round.

OK, he picked up some more picks and surely the Browns could use extra bodies.

But among the players Mangini passed on by surrendering the No. 5 overall pick were Maclin, Southern Cal linebacker Clay Matthews III, super receiver Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech, defensive end B.J. Raji of Boston College, Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis and defensive end Brian Orakpo of Texas.

The Browns did get defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Abram Elam and quarterback Brett Ratliff from the Jets in the trade that sent the No. 5 pick to New York.

But it still seems a strange way to start a new era.

This article contains information from the Associated Press.
Contact staff writer Don McKee at