Development — And Loss — Of The 2008 Brett Favre Trade To Tampa Bay Revealed

May 19th, 2021

It’s the almost-happened Buccaneers trade that painfully slipped away.

And perhaps it represented a lost Lombardi Trophy for Tampa Bay that, per a new revelation, could have been had for very little.

Joe will flash you back to the 2008 offseason, when the NFC South champion Bucs supposedly had a done deal to bring Packers quarterback Brett Favre to Tampa for a draft pick.

Chucky would have been reunited with his old quarterback student, who still was ballin’ at 38 years old.

But the deal disintegrated at the 11th hour for reasons that were never quite made clear — until last night.

In 2008, former Bucs rock star general manager Mark Dominik was the right-hand man/pro personnel director for Bucs GM Bruce Allen. But it was Dominik who was in charge of leading the Favre trade talks, he explained last night on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Dominik said he was ordered by Allen to call Packers front-office executive John Schneider (now the Seahawks GM) to feel out a Favre trade. And simultaneously, per Dominik, then-Packers GM Ted Thompson wanted Schneider to deal with Dominik on a potential deal.

The GM’s (Allen and Thompson), per Dominik, wanted no part of talks because they desired to tell media honestly (dishonestly?) that they never spoke about trading Favre.

In some circles, this is known as “plausible deniability.”

Negotiations marched along beautifully before the Jets swooped in and got Favre for a conditional fourth-round pick that would become a third-rounder if Favre took 50 percent of total snaps with the Jets in 2008.

Favre playing 70 percent of the snaps — and the Jets making the playoffs (which they didn’t) — would have made it a second-round pick. A Super Bowl win for the Jets with Favre would have seen the pick become a first-rounder.

“[The deal] was over [for the Jets] a half-dozen times,” then-Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum said of Favre trade negotiations years later.

Somewhere in between Tannenbaum’s final offer and the Bucs clinging too tightly to their draft picks, Tampa Bay lost the trade. And that reality appears to makes Dominik a little nauseous to this day.

If you love Bucs history, soak in Dominik’s chatter below.

”The only thing that I think we did wrong, is we probably could have offered a little bit more juice [as trade compensation] if [Favre] won the Super Bowl [with Tampa Bay] or if he won two playoff games [with Tampa Bay,] Dominik explained.

“I think if we would have done that, I think Brett Favre might have been a Buc. But the Jets came in out of nowhere [with general manager Mike Tannenbaum] and offered. And I think someone panicked, whether it was [Favre’s agent] Bus [Cook] or Brett, and wasn’t sure if it was the right fit. I think it was Bus Cook because Brett and Jon were pretty tight. And I just look back and go, ‘I don’t know what would have happened to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers if we’d have gotten Brett Favre. But knowing how great [Gruden] is with veteran quarterbacks and what he can get out of them, I just think my life would have been way different. The Bucs would have been a different organization.’

“You know, it’s almost nauseating. Like, I appreciate that I became the Bucs GM the next year, but the reality is I probably shouldn’t have. Like if we’d had traded for Brett Favre, I probably could have been director of pro personnel for two or

Former Bucs GM Mark Dominik pulls back the curtain

three more years, and that would have been great by me. I was very comfortable; I loved working for Jon, I loved working for Bruce. I really did. I mean, they pushed me in a different way. And [Rams COO] Kevin Demoff was there and we had [former Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. We had a lot of [front office] people that were really good people.

”I look back on that and say if we had just upped our ante a little bit more, I wonder how many lives would be different than they are today, versus Brett going to the Jets and then Minnesota. Because we went 9-7 in 2008 without Brett Favre, and I gotta think we would have been 11-5 easily, if not better, with Brett Favre, and that would have been awesome to see.”

“… I think we had [the deal] if we had pushed the envelope a little bit more and given a little bit more. I think the thing Green Bay was worried about is we were the only club, and then [the Jets] came in out of nowhere. … I think the concern by Bruce [Allen] was we were bidding against ourselves; which is fine, I understand that. You don’t want to do that. But I think that’s where you up the ante looking back. Like, ‘If we win the Super Bowl, you can have a No. 1 draft pick.’ Who gives a *&^%? A Super Bowl, I’ll take it. Every day, I’ll trade a first-round pick for a Super Bowl.

“… I think we were just a little bit more on the, ‘I think we got’em’ — instead of, ‘Let’s make sure we got him.” … It comes back and haunts clubs all the time.”

Great and much-appreciated candor there from Dominik.

The standard chatter about the trade was the Packers pulled out on the Bucs because Thompson didn’t want Favre in the NFC. But the Bucs’ guy inside the deal sees it falling apart because the Bucs got cocky and wouldn’t cough up a better pick.

For the record, a year later, the Bucs dealt their 2009 second-round pick for a serial rapist now serving a 14-year prison sentence, a guy who also had a penchant for personal satisfaction in parking lots and pouting when he didn’t get the football.

Favre made the Pro Bowl with the ’08 Jets and had one of his best seasons a year later with the Vikings.

Bucs fans sure have endured a lot, which makes today’s Super Bowl champion powerhouse all the more satisfying and appreciated.

25 Responses to “Development — And Loss — Of The 2008 Brett Favre Trade To Tampa Bay Revealed”

  1. SOEbuc Says:

    Ifs and buts. PARTY LIKE A ROCK STAR! 🎸

  2. geno711 Says:

    I always felt that Dominik was not that great of an evaluator. For instance a few years ago he was talking on ESPN that he would give up a 1st round draft pick for Adrian Peterson.

    Sounds like Allen was the push behind getting Favre and Dominik just did not get the deal done.

    Not that everything he did was a failure but it seems to me he was one of those GM’s well below 50% in his talent recognition.

  3. SB Says:

    The biggest two letter word in the English language.

  4. DrunkInYbor Says:

    Thank Bruce!!! He sure ain’t no Goerge

  5. Al121976 Says:

    Great insight!!! I always thought Bruce Allen and Dennis Hickey were the MAJOR problems only those days, Dennis hickey more so. It’s cool to hear about the past and why things were done, good job Joe 👍

  6. Swampbuc Says:

    Another Dom dandy. Why am I not surprised that, as it turns out, it was Mark Dumbaduk who fudged it up.

  7. August 1976 Buc Says:

    All the more thankful for the mentality and actions of the Bucs brass today. They have gone ALL in, NO RISK NO BISCUIT as an organization. And that is the clear difference today vs 2008.

    Lets go, keep on keepin on, going for 28 game win streak and World Champs again.

    Immortality awaits those who DARE to dream, and then put in the daily hard work to make the dream a reality. 20-0!!!!!!

    I think the words of Sam Walter Foss sum up my thinking

    “Bring me men to match my mountains: Bring me men to match my plains: Men with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brains”.

    No time for small thinking, the Bucs are LIVING THE DREAM, Go for it, you only live once. No time to look back and wish you had given all you had for something bigger than yourself.

    The undefeated 17-0 season by the Dolphins is a record that waiting to be upgraded to 20-0 by someone, it is only a matter of time.


  8. Game film doesn't lie Says:

    And it would have been Rachel Watson or some other Cheerleader/Reporter that Farve would have sent lewd pictures of his junk to instead of the FSU cowgirl who was a reporter for the Jets.

  9. Swampbuc Says:

    Yeah I say go 100-0! Yes!!! Never lose again! YAY!!!

    Let’s dream BIG!!!

    Meanwhile, beat the Cowboys.

  10. August 1976 Buc Says:

    Like I said “Immortality awaits those who DARE to dream, and then PUT in the DAILY HARD WORK to make the dream a reality. 20-0!!!!!!”

  11. Bucs4821 Says:

    “The Lost Decade” had to happen the way it did for the Bucs to be where they are now.

  12. Buczilla Says:

    Great story and I would have loved it if Favre came here. I’ve played a lot of “what if’s” in my head when it comes to the Bucs though. What if we kept Steve Young, hired better coaches to teach him, and then drafted Rod Woodson in 1987 instead of Vinny? We could have had Aaron Rodgers in 2005. It’s a long, sad, pitiful list of “what if’s”, but I’m happy with where we are now.

  13. Joe in Michigan Says:

    Bucs went 9-7 in 2008. NY Jets, who had a comparable roster, went 9-7 with Favre. Favre lead the NFL with 22 interceptions. The Bucs defense couldn’t stop the run at the end of 2008, leading to their collapse. It would’ve been fun for the Bucs to trade for Favre, but it wouldn’t have amounted to much, IMHO.

  14. westernbuc Says:

    Joe in MI, Favre tore his rotator cuff I believe that year and the jets slid after that. If he stays healthy, who knows, maybe he never leaves the Jets

  15. ClodHopper Says:

    That was a pretty fantastic read. Why wouldn’t every QB trade be designed that way? A first rounder for a Super Bowl? Like Dom said, Every day. Glad Licht wasn’t afraid to go all in when it was time to go all in.

  16. HeyItsAdam Says:

    “Like, I appreciate that I became the Bucs GM the next year, but the reality is I probably shouldn’t have.”


    The Man Who RE-SIGNED Michael Clayton.

  17. SB~LV Says:

    I wonder who the Bucs drafted with their 4th round pick that year or even their 3 rd .. if Dominic was tight on a 4th that must be viewed in the light of all the missing picks the Bucs had leading to the SB, including a 1st and 2nd for Kenyatta Walker . There were others too which led to a huge hole in draft talent in that era.

  18. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Flock of Seagulls-lovin’ ex-GM Mark Dominik was falling in love with getting Brett Favre (or Fahv-ruh) but was disappointed that the Hall of Fame QB ran so far away from the Bucs for the Jets. He pines for the days of earning a salary from Glazer Loot. If he only had a photograph of Favre, he wouldn’t spend his life just wishing.

  19. ModHairKen Says:

    Maybe Dominik sabotaged it intentionally?

  20. doolnutts Says:

    That’s why I love how aggressive Licht is… Who cares about picks do what you have to do to get the people you think will help your team.

  21. Swampbuc Says:

    Mark Dumanik — fetching another cup of coffee for the “Losers and Failures” podcasters.

  22. Pewter Power Says:

    Guess trying to keep draft picks would have been a good reason to lose out on the trade if anyone in the building had actually been good at drafting players

  23. Tye Says:

    That likely would have spared fans the agony of the dark years of Morris and ‘party boy’ freeman…. UGH!

  24. Joe in Michigan Says:

    westernbuc: I didn’t realize that. That’s one thing I liked about Favre, he was tough and played with injuries.

  25. Tom Says:

    Mark.. U resigned the best blocking wr in the league….. A wr who forget how to catch….