Favre seeks unconditional release from Packers, sources say
HATTIESBURG, Miss. -- Three days after a conference call with Packers team officials in which quarterback Brett Favre emphatically expressed his desire to play in 2008, Favre on Friday formally asked by letter for his unconditional contractual release, sources close to Favre and the team said.
The letter was sent by Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, via overnight mail on Thursday and arrived at the Packers facility Friday morning.
Cook, on behalf of Favre, expressed a desire to have an amicable parting, as the Packers have been reluctant to embrace his return. Favre announced his retirement in early March.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy weren't available for comment Friday.
In a statement, the Packers said: "Brett earned and exercised the right to retire on his terms. We wanted him to return and welcomed him back on more than one occasion.
"Brett's press conference and subsequent conversations in the following weeks illustrated his commitment to retirement," the news release added. "The finality of his decision to retire was accepted by the organization. At that point, the Green Bay Packers made the commitment to move forward with our football team."
More From ESPN.comThe Tampa Bay Buccaneers would offer Brett Favre a playoff-caliber roster, an open-and-willing coaching staff and a West Coast offense, a collection of qualities that may provide the QB the best fit, Kevin Seifert writes.
NFC North blog
The Baltimore Ravens are in need of a veteran at quarterback. Brett Favre could use a veteran team. At the very least, the Ravens should pick up the phone and give it a shot, James Walker writes. AFC North blog
Favre was reminded by the Packers' brass that he said publicly and privately in March that he wasn't 100 percent committed to football, sources said. Favre acknowledged his state of mind at the time, but added that he never felt he was 100 percent committed in March of previous years, either. Favre felt he had to make a decision to retire because the Packers were pressing him for an answer, a source said.
During the conference call on Tuesday, neither Thompson nor McCarthy was openly receptive or enthused about Favre's desire to unretire, the sources said, prompting Favre to direct Cook to request his release from the team. Favre has three years remaining on his contract at a total of $39 million. He currently is on the reserve-retired list.
Favre prefers a mutual parting rather than have to force the Packers' hand by writing a letter to request his reinstatement to the active 80-man roster. Under league policy, the team would have to comply or release him.
Aaron Rodgers, who will be entering his fourth season with the Packers, is Favre's heir apparent. ESPN.com's Ed Werder interviewed Rogers, who was playing at celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Friday.
"There's nothing I can tell you about the situation," said Rogers, who refused to comment further.
Favre has been in communication with McCarthy during the past month about his desire to play but until this week had not spoken with Thompson.
Favre did not wish to speak publicly about his situation when approached while working out Friday morning at a local high school in Hattiesburg. He appeared to be in excellent physical condition and threw the ball with ease, even throwing it 50 yards "on a rope" with high school receivers. He has been throwing and running with the team for more than a month.
Favre was relaxed and in a positive frame of mind, joking and telling stories about himself, former teammates and coaches. He planned to continue working out next week.
Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN. ESPN.com's Ed Werder contributed to this report.
BRETT FAVRE SAGA: OVER
After pushing and pushing to keep playing either in Green Bay or elsewhere, Brett Favre's storied career will continue in 2008. The unretired quarterback has been traded by the Packers to the Jets.
NFC North blog | AFC East blog
News• Favre on offseason saga: 'I knew I wanted to play'
• Favre unlikely to play in Jets' preseason finale
• Report: Pack's Favre deal included souvenirs, blog
• On Day 5 with Jets, Favre says arm feels 'fatigued'
• Favre finally arrives in New York, meets mayor
• Rodgers: 'Still following Brett's legacy'
• Jets introduce Favre in Cleveland
• Favre era ends in Green Bay with trade to Jets
• Favre leaves Green Bay, destination unknown
• Favre: 'This probably isn't going to work'
• Favre flying under radar in Green Bay
• Favre: Reinstatement done, Green Bay flight set
• Favre mulling offer; NFL ruling put off again
• Favre actively weighing Packers' offer
• Report: Packers mull dealing Favre in division
• Team president meeting with Favre, agent
• Source: Favre files for reinstatement
• Rodgers takes over as starting QB
• Favre signs reinstatement letter, waits to send
• Favre won't report to Packers camp Sunday
• Sources: Favre, Packers talk trade destinations
• Favre support muted at shareholders meeting
• Report: Favre doesn't have team-issued phone
• Report: NFL security visits Vikings
• Favre questions likely from shareholders
• Packers reportedly weigh trade offers for Favre
• Favre returns to Lambeau Field
• Packers president supports GM, coach
• What they're saying about Favre
• Favre won't apply for reinstatement right away
• Sources: Packers claim Vikings tampered
• Favre may show up at camp
• Favre 'clears it up' in interview with Fox
• Few fans attend Favre rally in Milwaukee
• Pack fans rally, calling for Favre reinstatement
• Pack won't release Favre
• Sources: Favre seeks unconditional release
• Favre itching to return to field
Trade Commentary/Features• Clayton: History doesn't favor Favre, Jets
• Chadiha: Packers will be fine without Favre
• Wojciechowski: Divorce cause? Lack of trust
• Clayton: Deal is a downer for Favre
• Scouts Inc.: Jets now a playoff contender
• Clayton: Questions, answers on Favre trade
• Fantasy spin: Deal boosts value of many Jets
Other Commentary/Features• Clayton: 5 reasons Favre would start for Pack
• Mosley: Favre is QB turned ringmaster
• Wojciechowski: Favre and away the best solution
• Clayton: Favre wins ugly duel
• Clayton: It's a painful divorce
• Chadiha: Rodgers unfazed by Favre circus
• Yasinskas: Favre makes sense for Bucs
• Wojciechowski: Packers can't win this game
• Clayton: It's a delicate situation
• Wright Thompson: Catching Favre's fastballs
• Wojciechowski: What's the answer, Packers?
• Williamson: Where could he end up?
• Seifert: What happens after HOF QBs move on
• Paolantonio: Favre is overhyped
• Kiper: 2005 analysis of prospect Rodgers
• Madden '09 cover boy Favre to stay retired
• Thompson: Brett, we miss you already
• Wojciechowski: Worth the price of admission
• Price of signed Favre items to go up
• Yasinskas: Rodgers ready to take the reins
• FB Outsiders: Measuring Favre's greatness
• Sando: Gunslinger mentality defined Favre
• Yasinskas: Majkowski on Favre's legacy
• Clayton: Questions surrounding Favre
• Clayton: Packers will miss Favre's magic
• Chadiha: Favre will regret decision
• Keating: Favre just getting started
• Hashmarks: Favre fun-loving guy
• Burning Questions: Is Rodgers ready?
• Experts: Is Favre the best, or among them?
• Favre's top 10 moments
• Forde: Favre's flair for dramatic started in college
• Favre's rating in Mel Kiper's '91 draft guide
• Favre's hometown quiet on day of his retirement
• Sadness, shock envelops Green Bay
• Wounded Army officer has last ball thrown
• Around sports: What they're saying
• Fantasy spin: Rodgers not top-20 QB
• Scouts: Rodgers has talent to succeed
• Packers local: Complete hometown coverage
Video• Favre traded to Jets for conditional pick
• Jets GM on trade for Favre, imminent release of Pennington
• Steve Young on Favre's Jets future
• Cris Carter on what trade means to Jets?
• Schlereth: Exciting news for Jets
• Sal Pal on Favre's move to AFC
• Rachel Nichols on Favre's pre-trade mindset
• Favre interview: Part 3 | 2 | 1
SportsNation• How will Jets do with Favre behind center?
• Fans react to Favre's retirement
Photo Galleries• Favre flashback
• Top TD guns
• Top TD targets