Packers' plans for Favre unknown after team calls off news conference
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- There was no parade, no motorcade and no photo opportunity -- hardly the way you'd expect Brett Favre to return to the Green Bay Packers after spending most of the past month as the league's longest-running daytime drama.
Favre reported to the Packers as expected Monday, although none of the fans and media members staking out several entrances to Lambeau Field managed to catch a glimpse of him.
The team announced Monday afternoon that Favre had been reinstated and placed on the active roster, as was expected. To make room for Favre, the Packers placed cornerback Condrew Allen on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Coach Mike McCarthy had scheduled a news conference for 9:30 p.m. ET to talk about his plans for Favre. But the news conference was called off because McCarthy was still meeting with the quarterback. The Packers said they would try to reschedule the news conference for Tuesday.
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Both Favre and McCarthy drove out a back gate at Lambeau at 12:22 a.m. ET, nearly 5½ hours after their meeting began. Favre waved to a small crowd of fans and media from his dark red SUV, and McCarthy followed immediately behind him in a black SUV.
Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell ruled Monday that he found no violations of league policy in the Packers' tampering complaint against the Minnesota Vikings. And Minnesota coach Brad Childress denied reports that the Vikings have talked to the Packers about a potential trade for Favre.
"We haven't had any contact" with the Packers, Childress said.
Vikings coaches apparently did have contact with Favre in the offseason, but Goodell found that their conversations didn't violate league tampering rules. In a statement, Goodell said, "None of those conversations suggest that Favre was soliciting a job or that other teams were soliciting his services."
In a statement, the Packers said they consider the matter closed.
Brett Favre 2008 Timeline
The Brett Favre saga in Green Bay might be nearing a conclusion after the unretired quarterback said he and the team might be better off without each other. A look at how the story has unfolded:Aug. 6: Traded to New York Jets for conditional draft pick. Aug. 5: Left practice facility in the afternoon ... did not practice with the team ... met with Packers officials to discuss trade options ... tells ESPN's Chris Mortensen "the best thing for this team is for us to part ways" ... considers talking to the Buccaneers about a possible trade. Aug. 4: Favre reports to training camp and is added to active roster after passing physical Aug. 3: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reinstates Favre July 31: Favre offered $25 million to not report to camp July 30: Meets with Packers president Mark Murphy in Mississippi July 29: Faxes reinstatement request to NFL July 25: Favre tells Packers he plans to report to training camp July 19: Returns to Lambeau Field to attend Packers Hall of Fame ceremony July 16: Packers file tampering charges with NFL against Vikings July 11: Packers receive letter from Favre formally requesting release July 8: Favre asks for release with understanding he won't be starter July 6: Sends text message to Packers GM Ted Thompson July 2: Favre says reports of return were "all rumor" June 20: Favre tells coach Mike McCarthy he may want to play again April 9: Says he might consider comeback if opportunity was presented April 4: Agent reportedly contacts teams to gauge trade interest April 3: Denies rumors of a comeback March 6: Favre conducts retirement news conference Jan. 20: Packers lose NFC Championship Game to the Giants in OT
-- Compiled by ESPN Research
"Based on the information that we had, the Packers thought it was appropriate to bring this matter to the league's attention," the team said. "We respect the commissioner's investigation of this matter and we now consider it closed."
Vikings officials said they respected the "thoroughness" of the investigation.
"We provided the league with all information requested so they could be comprehensive in their decision making," the Vikings said in a statement. "Our focus has been, and continues to be, on our football team and having a successful season."
After being reinstated and added to the Packers' active roster, Favre took and passed a physical examination and conditioning test. Then he was scheduled for a meeting with McCarthy, who still needs to be convinced that Favre is committed to playing football in 2008.
"That's a great question," McCarthy said Sunday night. "That will be one of our topics of conversation."
The Packers reluctantly embraced Favre's forced return to the football field Sunday, after failing to come to a financial agreement that would manage to make Favre happy while staying retired.
And while it's not yet clear what role Favre will play for the Packers, current quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he's ready for a potential competition with Favre after serving as his backup for three seasons.
"I know if they do open it up to competition, not a lot of people give me a chance, but I believe in myself and I'm going to be the best I can be and let coach decide from there," Rodgers said Sunday night.
As the Favre saga continues to take unexpected twists and turns, the Packers apparently are turning to an expert in crisis management: Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer.
Fleischer gave a lecture to Packers players last week about media relations -- an event that was scheduled before Favre got the so-called "itch" to play again -- but the team apparently thought highly enough of Fleischer's advice that they decided to keep him around.
"Can't you tell?" McCarthy quipped Sunday night after he was asked about a FoxSports.com report that the Packers were employing Fleischer for one month as a consultant.
"I don't know the specifics," McCarthy said. "If he is, I might go see him when I'm done here."
Since leaving the White House, Fleischer has gone on to become president of Ari Fleischer Sports Communications, a joint venture with IMG. Last week, Fleischer told The Associated Press that he discussed the Favre situation with Packers players.
"Obviously, it's a topic, and it wasn't ignored," Fleischer said.
Information from ESPN.com NFL writer 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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