Favre: How much is his arm really worth?

Favre has retired so many times, many people don't believe him. If he's up to par this season, he'd be worth at least $11 million to the Minnesota Vikings.

Matt Bush/The Hattiesburg American/AP
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre talks with football players at Oak Grove High School in Hattiesburg, Miss., Aug. 4. Vikings offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Favre's agent, Bus Cook, both said Wednesday that the veteran quarterback plans to play if he is healthy.

It is entirely possible that Brett Favre has decided to retire more times than he throws interceptions in a season

Which is sort of a great stat if he happens to be playing for your team. Or a terrible one is he's only thinking about playing for your team.

So yes, maybe No. 4 played the melodrama card once too often when he intimated a few days ago that he wouldn't be returning this season. But all this preseason chatter about the star quarterback's antics overlooks one fact: His arm is strong, consistent, productive, even after 19 years in the league.

Favre is still valuable NFL material. How valuable? Last year, he had his highest quarterback rating ever, threw 26 more touchdowns than interceptions (tying his Super Bowl championship year), and came within an eyelash of putting the Minnesota Vikings into the Super Bowl.

He was well-compensated for those efforts. Last year, the Vikings paid him $12 million, or nearly $2,900 for every passing yard. That's not out of line with his last years with the Green Bay Packers. Minnesota is reported to be ready to pay him $12 million again this year, maybe more, if he decides to play.

Is he worth it? There are lots of ways to measure this, but for simplicity's sake, let's stick with passing yards completed.

Favre is uncommonly consistent. In the last three years, with three different teams, he averaged just under 3,950 yards per season. That's slightly better than his two back-to-back Super Bowl seasons with the Packers.

If he hits his three-year average in 2010 and was paid his going rate per passing yard from last season, he would be worth $11.3 million.

Not bad for a star quarterback. Or a gridiron Hamlet.

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