Favre forces Packers to make decision, files for reinstatement
Consider the Green Bay Packers backed up against their own goal line.
Brett Favre followed through on his statements that he wanted to come out of retirement by faxing his reinstatement letter to the NFL on Tuesday.
League spokesman Randall Liu confirmed the action after ESPN's Chris Mortensen had reported it earlier.
Favre sent the letter to the league office late Tuesday afternoon and also spoke by phone with commissioner Roger Goodell, who indicated he will not act on Tuesday in hopes the Packers and Favre can reach a resolution during the next 24 hours, the sources said.
Packers general manager Ted Thompson then will be forced to make a decision -- accept Favre back, trade him or release him.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers discuss Brett Favre's request for reinstatement.
"It's obviously the first step in Brett coming back, but we'll deal with that when Brett is reinstated and have a plan for that when he comes back," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said, adding that the team is still committed to Aaron Rodgers as its starting quarterback.
McCarthy also said Rodgers will start all of the preseason games and probably get more playing time than Favre used to in the preseason.
"He'll be starting all of the games as the starter," McCarthy said of Rodgers. "We've talked about possibly playing our first group maybe a little longer, and those are things that we'll discuss. The health of your football team obviously factors into that, so that is our plan going into the preseason with Aaron."
As for Favre, McCarthy added: "The plan for Brett Favre will be discussed first with Brett Favre and then we'll make the public aware of it."
Meanwhile, later Tuesday night, Packers team president Mark Murphy boarded a private jet to fly to Hattiesburg, Miss., to speak to Favre, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Hey, wonder what I'm going to do there?" a smiling Murphy said, according to the paper.
Murphy would not divulge any details regarding his mission, but it seems clear that he will attempt to broker some sort of deal between the team and Favre.
Back at camp on Tuesday afternoon, Rodgers tried to take the latest news in stride.
"I'm not as affected as you guys think I am or should be," he said. "They told me I'm the starter, and until that changes, that's going to be my focus. I keep saying that."
Rodgers has played in seven games over three seasons as Favre's understudy, but he wasn't about to hand over his job.
"I have confidence in myself and I have confidence in how the coaches on the staff feel about me," he said. "And he's not here yet. We're still dealing in hypotheticals for the moment, until he gets here."
Not all of the Packers could just brush off the situation, however.
"Any time you have a situation where there is a distraction or one guy getting all the attention or the buzz, rather than on us concentrating or executing plays, you get tired of answering questions," defensive back Charles Woodson said. "It's only going to be worse if he shows up in camp tomorrow or the next day.
"We've just all got to be prepared to be professionals and to practice hard and work hard and make sure everyone on the team is doing their job."
The Favre saga hasn't been short on daily drama off the field.
Favre told Mortensen on Sunday that the GM had pleaded with the quarterback not to show up at camp on Sunday, so that the situation could be resolved.
"I asked Ted [Saturday], 'Am I welcome in the building if I report?' And Ted was just about shattered," Favre said. "He said, 'Brett, you can't do that -- you'll get me fired.' I told him I'm not trying to get anybody fired. So Ted asked me to let the guys report and let's try to resolve this over the next two or three days."
With no concrete movement in the past few days, Favre made his move. The Packers have publicly committed to Rodgers, however.
Favre has offered to compete for the starting job in training camp, but he said in Sunday's interview that he was told that is not an option.
"It's pretty clear -- and this is what I told the commissioner -- that they want me to go away, stay retired," Favre said.
The Packers have already said that they will not release their former franchise quarterback, but they have looked into trading him. The Packers own Favre's rights until his contract expires after the 2010 season. Nothing tangible has happened on the trade front either, however.
Favre retired in March after 16 seasons in the league as the all-time leader in touchdown passes with 442.Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN. Information from ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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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.
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