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Cris Carter says Brett Favre doesn’t need training camp

For an ESPN NFL analyst who doesn’t show up much if at all on the air during the offseason, we’re sure hearing a lot late from former Eagles, Vikings, and Dolphins receiver Cris Carter.

Carter recently defended Favre’s handling of the latter days of his career.

OTAs and all that stuff, they are overrated,” Carter said recently at workouts organized by Larry Fitzgerald, per Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It’s really hard to decide if you’re going to play this game, like how long you are going to play? There is a strategy for how to get in this league, there ain’t no strategy how to get out. . . . He’s one of the rarest of rares in a rare group. That he can still at this age, play at a level that we saw him play 15 years ago. . . .”

Asked when Favre may show up for training camp, Carter said, “What difference does that make?”

A reporter said in response, “None.”

“Why doesn’t somebody write that?” Carter said.

“You play 20 years in the National Football League, you know what training camp [is about and] you know how to get through the season,” Carter added. “Do you think somebody is going to teach him something new at Mankato? . . . Football players, we have a great understanding to realize that it’s not a square peg, it’s not a round hole, it’s somewhere in between and we adapt to it. And we’re going to adapt to Brett Favre. . . .

“If he decides to come [back] -- which he’s going to definitely come [back] -- his mind will be ready to play some football and that’s all you’ve got to concentrate on. That’s really the deal. Most people try to make this more complicated. But he’s a 20-year vet. This [would be] his 20th year. Nineteen years in the league. I mean he knows what he’s doing and he’s in the same system.”

Carter, though chronically cranky, is right. Favre doesn’t need to be at training camp. He wasn’t there last year, and the season turned out incredibly well. (Though, in the end, not well enough.)

This year, there’s even less of a reason for Favre to show up for camp. He knows the offense, and he has a full year in with the team. If he fails in 2010, it won’t have anything to do with his absence from offseason workouts or training camp.