Brett Favre, convinced that Green Bay will never permit him to compete to be its starting quarterback and recognizing its unwillingness to ship him to an NFC North rival, is actively considering an offer from the Packers that would provide the quarterback a paid lifetime role with the franchise that would not involve playing.
"There isn't a perfect solution to this, but [Packers president] Mark Murphy is at least trying," Favre told ESPN's Ed Werder via text message on Thursday night. "We know what they want and where I stand. His solution, although awkward and unsettling for most, may be the best in the end.''
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said the potential contract could benefit Favre and the team. More importantly, it also could resolve their standoff over Favre's retirement.
"Brett needs to stay a part of football," McCarthy said after practice in Green Bay on Friday morning. "Obviously, he's a part of the Green Bay Packers. This is really something that's been out there all along."
McCarthy said the deal, which was interpreted by some as a last-minute bribe to keep Favre away from camp, actually has been on the table for months.
McCarthy said he first heard about it at Favre's retirement news conference in March.
Favre could be forced to report to camp unless the Packers reach agreement with him on a nonplaying role before commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates him. He has at least until Friday to resolve this standoff after Goodell opted earlier on Thursday to delay granting the quarterback his reinstatement one day.
"Once he's reinstated, Brett's going in, and once that happens Packerland becomes Disneyland -- although that's not what Brett wants for his teammates,'' Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, told ESPN. "He wants them to be successful and do well. But that's what happens if this thing doesn't get resolved, and he decides to report."
While Favre had a lengthy discussion with Goodell on Thursday, a source close to the quarterback told ESPN there was no dialogue with the Packers. The New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the only teams that have made direct inquiries about trading for Favre.
Favre had reserved a charter plane to fly him to Green Bay Thursday so he could report if he had been reinstated by Goodell. When that did not occur, Favre postponed the trip to remain in Hattiesburg, Miss., while awaiting Goodell's approval.
"He's ready to go report, but you have to understand he's been told the job is not open to competition,'' Cook said. "He's been told, 'If you come up here, it's not going to be like it was. You are going to be holding clipboard. You're going to be the backup.' Given those things, would he rather decide to just stay at home and be affiliated with a team he loves with his whole heart and soul rather than go play someplace they tell him to go?''
Favre's first choice is to play for the Packers, a team for which he has started an NFL record 275 consecutive games. Once the Packers refused to accommodate him, Favre informed the team he wanted to play for another team in the division -- believed to be the Minnesota Vikings -- because he is familiar with Brad Childress' coaching staff and would be able to play against opponents he is comfortable competing against.
"My intentions have been to play, and with Green Bay," Favre told Werder. "They say no, so I still want to play in this division for obvious reasons, which I made clear to management. If they won't let me play in Green Bay, let me play against you. That's where I am.''
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday that Packers officials have had internal discussions about trading Favre to the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears as a "last resort" to resolve the smoldering controversy.
But Packers general manager Ted Thompson said earlier this week that he would not consider trading Favre to one of Green Bay's NFC North division rivals. Then on Wednesday night, multiple reports surfaced that the team had offered to pay Favre up to $20 million to stay retired.
Cook described Favre as mystified by the team's stance.
"It's painfully clear the Packers do not want Brett back, but they will take him back once they have no choice,'' Cook said. "If the commissioner reinstates him, they have to take him back but they've said, 'Brett your job is to sit on this bench.' And that's where we are unless we make other arrangements that Brett would be involved with the Packers from now on but not as a player."
ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder and The Associated Press contributed to this report.