Sources: Packers inquiring about trade market for Favre

Updated: July 23, 2008, 9:28 AM ET
By Chris Mortensen | ESPN.com

The Green Bay Packers got busy making phone calls Tuesday to several teams after being encouraged by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to resolve the controversy surrounding quarterback Brett Favre before they begin training camp Sunday, according to league and players union sources.

The NFL Network first reported that the Packers are exploring trade options for Favre.

The commissioner has been briefed by Packers general manager Ted Thompson on the status of the team's approach with Favre, who has said he wants to play again. Sources said Thompson reaffirmed to the commissioner that the organization wants to "move on" without Favre. Consequently, Goodell encouraged the GM to accelerate the process by surveying teams around the league to determine if there is a trade partner, the sources said.

The commissioner made it clear to Thompson that Favre will be reinstated as an active player if he makes the request, a decision that is forthcoming by Favre.

Goodell also has spoken with Favre, the sources said, telling the veteran passer that he was willing to assist in the process, if necessary.

Several teams in the AFC and NFC confirmed they were contacted by the Packers.

While Favre clearly prefers to play for the Minnesota Vikings, the logical trade partner appears to be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bucs coach Jon Gruden once served as Favre's position coach in Green Bay, and the Bucs have embraced veteran quarterbacks.

The Bucs also have had a contract impasse with 38-year-old Jeff Garcia, who plans to report to training camp, but only after missing a day or two to attend a reunion event with his father. The Bucs say it is an excused absence, but the relationship is strained.

Favre retired in early March, but recently has been having second thoughts about playing in 2008. He has asked to be released from his contract, a request the team has no plans to grant. The team has said it is committed to Aaron Rodgers, Favre's former understudy, as its quarterback of the future.

Favre's contractual rights belong to the Packers until his current deal expires after the 2010 season.

Meanwhile, a source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Tuesday that Favre has continued to use a cell phone issued by the Packers, and when the team checked the phone records, they showed "repeated calls to [Vikings] coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell."

The Packers filed a tampering charge against the Vikings last week. While Favre's talking to Bevell, his friend and former quarterbacks coach in Green Bay, might not show much, discussions with Minnesota's head coach may raise red flags.

The Vikings aren't commenting on the claim.

Green Bay's players report to training camp on Monday, with the first practice Tuesday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.