Favre to play '06 season for Packers

Updated: April 26, 2006, 11:44 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Brett Favre informed the Packers on Tuesday that he will definitely play the 2006 season in Green Bay.

Quarterback
Green Bay Packers

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
Att Comp Yds TD Int Rat
607 372 3711 20 29 70.9

The NFL's only three-time MVP shared his decision with general manager Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy in a telephone conversation on Tuesday morning, the sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Tuesday night. Wednesday, Thompson confirmed the news.

"The Green Bay Packers are very pleased that Brett has come to this decision, and look forward to a successful 2006 season," Thompson said in a statement posted on the team's Web site Wednesday.

Packers president and CEO Bob Harlan said he was delighted that Favre was coming back -- something he expected to happen, despite Favre's four months of public wavering on the decision.

"I always said the calendar was working in our favor,'' Harlan said. "If he was going to [retire], he would have told us in January.''

Neither Favre nor McCarthy was available for immediate comment. Bus Cook, Favre's agent, did not return phone inquiries.

Favre, who had a roster bonus pushed back from March to July while he pondered his decision, has said that if he chose to play in 2006 that it would be his final season.

Favre said repeatedly after the 2005 season ended that he wasn't sure if he would come back to play a 16th season, saying he wasn't sure if he wanted to be part of what he saw as a possible long-term rebuilding effort.

He also claimed he wasn't sure if the team wanted him and his hefty salary to be a part of that effort. He hinted that the team's moves in free agency would play a role in his decision to come back. Favre also questioned his own motivation to continue playing.

Favre, 36, is second to Hall of Famer Dan Marino in passing yards, touchdown passes and completions. Marino is the leader with 61,361 yards, followed by Favre with 53,615 and Hall of Famer John Elway with 51,475.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Favre has made an NFL-record 221 consecutive starts for the Packers. He never had a losing record until last season, when Green Bay went 4-12 and he led the league with 29 interceptions.

But the fans at Lambeau Field did not want to see him go. After Green Bay closed a disappointing campaign with a win over Seattle on Jan. 1, Favre left the game with 46 seconds left after throwing for 259 yards and a touchdown and received a thunderous ovation from the sellout crowd.

Favre saluted the fans with a wave and was surrounded by a swarm of photographers as he ran off the field.

Favre extended his NFL-record streak of seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes to 12 and increased his career total to 396. He also established a career high with 372 completions last season, surpassing his previous high of 363 in 1994.

Marino, the NFL's most prolific quarterback, has 420 career TD passes and 4,967 completions.

Favre led the Packers to six division crowns and a Super Bowl title, restoring success to one of the NFL's most famous franchises.

The Packers fired coach Mike Sherman after the final game of the season and replaced him with McCarthy, who was Favre's quarterbacks coach in Green Bay during the 1999 season. They also re-signed running back Ahman Green, who missed most of last season because of a knee injury.

But Favre continued to waffle in the offseason as the Packers struck out on high-profile free agents.

His apparent decision to return comes despite the Packers' failure to answer the quarterback's call to make a "statement" signing in free agency similar to that of Reggie White in the 1990s.

Sticking to Thompson's stated philosophy of not splurging for the sake of splurging in the free-agent market, the Packers lost veteran kicker Ryan Longwell to the division rival Minnesota Vikings and lost out in the bidding for a potential replacement, free-agent kicker Adam Vinatieri, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts.

The Packers' two most high-profile free-agent signings have been former St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Ryan Pickett and former Seattle Seahawks safety Marquand Manuel. The team has also re-signed fullback William Henderson and wide receiver Rod Gardener.

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.