GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Wednesday might have been the most bizarre day yet in the standoff between the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Brett Favre.
The day began with team president Mark Murphy in Hattiesburg, Miss., where he met with Favre and agent Bus Cook in an attempt to resolve the issue. Because Murphy and Cook continued their meeting until late in the afternoon, there was some external optimism that a deal was near.
Instead, Cook emerged from the meeting and said it was very possible that Favre could crash the Packers' training camp this week. Murphy later issued a statement that addressed no details and made clear he had engaged only in non-football discussions with Favre, apparently to dismiss the possibility that he had usurped the role of general manager Ted Thompson.
Thompson was probably glad to have his name removed from the public discussion, because things really got interesting as the night wore on. As the Packers went through a 2 1/2 hour practice, reports began emerging that Murphy and the Packers had attempted to buy off Favre in a last-ditch attempt to keep him away from training camp.
A Milwaukee television station reported the Packers had offered Favre about $20 million over the next 10 years to remain retired. The Green Bay Press-Gazette offered a similar report, although it did not name the dollar amount. If true, the reports revealed a startling lack of lack of insight into Favre's makeup and what he is looking for.
Meanwhile, a Green Bay television station interviewed a local psychic who "saw" Favre wearing a white uniform with a blue stripe. She also saw him suffering a serious injury on the field. Take it for what you will.
Today's events leave us with the possibility of a Friday showdown.
The Packers have no practice scheduled Thursday. They will have some conditioning work and later will listen to former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer speak about media relations. Coach Mike McCarthy insisted Fleischer was booked long ago.
Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to act on Favre's reinstatement request Thursday, likely after speaking with Favre personally. If he is reinstated, Favre will have to decide whether to show up at the Packers' training camp Friday for a physical and conditioning test. It is the Packers' nightmare scenario, and now it could be 24 hours away.
McCarthy, who was not involved in the planning of Murphy's trip, has held up well during the ordeal, but even he drew a line Wednesday night.
"It's to the point where I think it's better for myself and better for the football team: It's time for me to coach the football team," McCarthy said. "I can't concern myself with the day-to-day, blow-by-blow of things that go on outside of the preparation of the team. So if he comes in here, he'll be one of 80 and I will coach him accordingly."
Unbelievably, it looks like McCarthy will have to do just that.
Lastly, ESPN's Wendi Nix and Chris Mortensen provide their take on the situation.
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