Favre, reached as his home by a Green Bay newspaper, said that Walker is not showing that he’s a “team player” by skipping the recent post-draft mini-camp.
“If Javon wants to know what he quarterback thinks, and I would think he might, I’d tell him he’s going about this the wrong way,” Favre told the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “When his agent tells him not to worry about what his teammates think and all that stuff, I’d tell him I’ve been around a long time and that stuff will come back to haunt you.”
Walker, entering his fourth season, is unhappy with his current contract, which expires in 2006. He is scheduled to be paid base salaries of $515,000 this season and $650,000 in 2006. Walker led the Packers last season with 89 catches for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named to the NFC squad in the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career.
Walker, represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus, is among a handful of stars in the league who are holding out for more money. He is not expected to be at the June mini-camp and his holdout could last well into training camp.
As far as Favre is concerned, the Packers will be fine without Walker, if the receiver continues to hold out. He was fined $1,000 a day by the Packers for skipping the final three days of the post-draft mini-camp. The June mini-camp is not mandatory for players to attend.
“He’s a great player,” Favre said. “I think he can help us. He’s likeable and easy to get along with, but I’m guessing he’s getting the wrong advice, and he’s buying into that.
“I just don’t see much good that can come from it. If it gets time for the start of training camp and he’s not in, I think it’ll start bothering him, and he’ll be here. But once again, nothing should surprise you.”
"We've got guys who'll give great effort. Stars are made that way. Look at what happened when Sterling (Sharpe) left. Robert Brooks stepped up. We can win without him."
Favre isn’t the only one who is unhappy with Walker’s decision to hold out. Head coach Mike Sherman says the Packers are prepared to enter the 2005 season without Walker.
"We've already moved on," Sherman said as mini-camp practice closed on Sunday. "You can't wait for anybody in regard to that situation. You always put another guy in (his place), and you go forward. Just like if you get somebody hurt - you move on, and you go."
Without Walker, Donald Driver and Robert Ferguson are the team’s top two receivers. Both looked strong in the mini-camp. Sherman also sang the praises of Antonio Chatman and Andrae Thurman. Draftees Terrence Murphy (second round) and Craig Bragg (sixth), along with free agent Vince Butler, also caught Sherman’s attention during the mini-camp.
"The strongest position on our team right now probably is the receiver position," Sherman said.
Favre feels Walker should be more of a team player and honor his current contract.
"Nowadays you're seeing more and more guys pulling that stunt," Favre said. "If guys continue to do that and are successful getting away with it, then I'll be gone, but I think the game will be ruined. My reaction to Javon's situation was, 'Here we go again.'
"Javon has tremendous potential. We got to see some of that last year. The sky's the limit for that guy, and I'd be the first to defend him, but he's going about it the wrong way. What happened to honoring your contract and saying, 'Let's work as a team to see if we can get this done?' Why not go about it that way?
"Maybe I'm old-school, but I always thought you honor a contract. Sure, sometimes guys pass you up in salary, and maybe it's a lesser player, but it's all based on what a team has as far as value in that person.
"I sure hope the Packers don't give into him," Favre said.