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Allen would bet that Favre will be back as a Viking

 Leave it to Jared Allen to make the most sense of the Brett Favre situation. The recently married and recently shorn defensive end appears to have seen through the morass of this situation and distilled it down to its most sensible essence:

"If I was a betting man, and I had to put money on it today, absolutely," Allen said Thursday when asked on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 if he thinks Favre will return. "I hope if the answer was no, he would have already had the wherewithal to tell us that he's not coming back so we could have done something in free agency.

"But again, the man's earned the right to do what he pleases. He hasn't let anybody down yet, so I'm not here to start harping on it yet."

What more needs to be said (right -- like this is the last word). Favre's actions seem to indicate that he will be back (making a bet on it with a college baseball, having ankle surgery, not having retired yet). Under normal circumstances, an NFL player under contract (particularly one under contract to earn $13 million) would not even be asked these questions -- it would be a foregone conclusion that he would be back. But as we have learned, with Favre, it is never under normal circumstances.

Favre certainly has brought plenty of this constant attention to his intentions on himself, but fan disdain and media frenzy have served to the fan the smoldering mess into a brush fire that never seems to go out. Everyone comments on it -- now you have a rookie defensive lineman hoping he will return.

Ultimately, Allen has it right: It's anybody's guess, but it looks like he will be back. No one at Winter Park (with the possible exception of Adrian Peterson) seems to care when Favre will decide, and when he does, they will be the first to know. So count on it until you hear otherwise, and until then it is pretty much his business to decide what he wants to do when.

Allen seems on board with that ... unless you take another look at his final statement: "He hasn't let anybody down yet, so I'm not here to start harping on it yet." It sounds like that if Favre does string the team along and then announces his retirement right before camp, then Allen, and plenty of others, might have something to say about it.

Allen said: "I hope if the answer was no, he would have already had the wherewithal to tell us that he's not coming back so we could have done something in free agency," and that pretty much echoes the sentiment of just about every Vikings fan. If you are going to retire, then don't hold the team hostage making that decision.

That would be the worst-case scenario, and even Brett Favre, despite all the accusations of him having an immense ego, isn't that self-absorbed that he would hang his teammates out to dry, especially after claiming to have such a good time with them last season. He is the consummate teammate after all -- Steve Hutchinson said recently on a TV interview that Favre was like one of the younger players in the locker room last season, constantly running around and having fun -- and it is hard to believe that he would tarnish those friendships without being a little more sensitive to his teammates. The Vikings are, once again, a quarterback away from the ultimate season and no one knows that better than Favre. To leave at the last minute and hamstring his former team would not only be selfish, it would be unconscionable.

Better to look at his track record: Every time Favre has waffled about retirement, whether with the Green Bay Packers, New York Jets or the Vikings, he has taken his time to decide, taken care of his body in the offseason (i.e., surgeries) and then ultimately returned to play the game. This offseason has been no different.

Do as the "former mullet-ed one" says, bet on it. Favre's coming back. And the Vikings will be a factor next postseason as a result.