Sources: Favre has spoken to Bucs and Jets as potential trade suitors
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Tuesday evening that after approximately six hours of what he called "brutally honest" conversations with Favre over the past two days, the three-time MVP just isn't in the right mindset to be part of the team.
Even with the chance to win his starting job back potentially on the table, McCarthy said Favre couldn't seem to get past emotional wounds that were opened as tensions mounted in recent weeks.
"The football team's moving forward," McCarthy said. "The train has left the station, whatever analogy you want. He needs to jump on the train and let's go. Or, if we can't get past things that have happened, I have to keep the train moving."
Favre seemed resigned to a future elsewhere, telling ESPN's Chris Mortensen on Tuesday morning that the "best thing for this team is for us to part ways."
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
Sources told Mortensen late Tuesday that Favre has already spoken to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Jets as potential teams in a trade with Green Bay. The Tampa Tribune reported on its Web site early Wednesday that a Favre trade to the Bucs is likely to be finalized in the next 24 hours and might be announced before Thursday.
"They told him, 'We'll trade you, but not within the division,'" Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, told USA Today for Wednesday's editions. "His first desire was to play here. Their first desire was for him not to play here."
McCarthy would not address trade talks, but did say a quick resolution to the situation is important to the rest of his players.
"Absolutely," McCarthy said. "The players, they want it resolved. Even talk to Brett about it -- he feels bad about it. It's time for them to talk about somebody else."
Favre left Lambeau Field just before Packers practice Tuesday afternoon, taking a right turn out of the stadium's back gate and heading away from the field where the rest of his teammates were assembling for drills.
Favre emerged from the stadium's loading dock exit at 2:34 p.m. ET Tuesday, hugging Packers senior security advisor Jerry Parins before getting in his SUV and driving away. Shortly after, an SUV driven by Packers general manager Ted Thompson left the gate heading in the same direction.
"We're at a stalemate," Favre told Mortensen. "Mike and I both agreed last night that me being out there is a distraction and will continue to be a distraction. We all know the reason I'm here is because the commissioner reinstated me, so we have a lot of things to figure out. It's simple and complicated, both at the same time."
McCarthy said Favre was excused from practice Tuesday, adding that he wouldn't have practiced with the team anyway because of an abdominal strain found in his physical examination Monday. McCarthy did not say whether Favre would be fined if he stayed away from camp starting Wednesday.
Favre told Mortensen he doesn't have a problem with competing with Aaron Rodgers for the starting job, and can "truly understand" why McCarthy would make Rodgers the starter. But Favre also said a competition "probably isn't going to work" and that "the problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it."
Did Favre not feel wanted or welcome enough by the Packers?
"That's part of the issue with him, quite frankly," McCarthy said. "And listening to him talk about that, you respect his opinion. And frankly, I told him, I said, 'I'll take responsibility because I have a voice in the building.' I never thought he truly was going to play. I thought he was emotionally driven for other reasons."
McCarthy said Favre was "very convincing" in their conversations about his desire to play Monday night and Tuesday. But McCarthy still seemed to have reservations about Favre's commitment to preparation.
Would Favre continue to stay at Lambeau late at night to study film, a major factor in his success last season?
"That was a very good question for him," McCarthy said. "He's in a tough spot right now."
McCarthy also didn't seem convinced that Favre was thinking clearly about his future.
Mike McCarthy doesn't believe that Brett Favre is in the right mindset to play for the Packers.
"He has a lot going through his head, and I think he's emotional," McCarthy said. "And just talking to him, he's in a tough spot."
So, of course, are McCarthy and Thompson. Correctly or not, they might end up being seen by fans as the men who drove Favre out of Green Bay.
"That's not a good feeling, but I don't view it that way," McCarthy said. "I can only trust the truth. I've been part of a lot of conversations, and I don't feel that's the case."
Favre is a part of the team's 80-man roster but is officially on the Packers' nonfootball injury list, which means he could be activated at any time.
However, Favre has seen a sharp decline in his favorability among many Wisconsinites, a new survey shows. Only 47 percent had a favorable view of Favre, while 34 percent had an unfavorable view. The survey of 600 people likely to vote in the November presidential election was conducted Sunday and Monday by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. In a survey last December, 73 percent of the people in Wisconsin had a favorable view of Favre and 7 percent had an unfavorable view.
Rodgers, meanwhile, stuck to his mantra of not worrying about things he can't control.
They told him, 'We'll trade you, but not within the division.' His first desire was to play here. Their first desire was for him not to play here.
-- "Bus" Cook, QB's agent
"I just know we were out at practice today, and he wasn't there, and I'm the starter," Rodgers said. "So that's where we're going right now."
Speaking to reporters after Tuesday's practice, Rodgers stood just a few feet away from a locker with a "FAVRE" nameplate above it, stocked with shoulder pads and other equipment. It hadn't been used -- and now might never be.
Cornerback Charles Woodson had a hard time imagining the Packers trading such an iconic player.
"Everything went kind of sour a few weeks or a month back, but you never felt like it would get to the point or to the talks of him actually being traded," Woodson said. "I felt once he stepped back in here, he would be the quarterback. Him not being here today, I guess management has a different route. So at that point, we've got to go out and do our job."
Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton 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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