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GREEN BAY, Wis. -- It is now clear that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will do everything in his power to prevent retired quarterback Brett Favre from forcing his way back onto the Green Bay Packers' roster.
Nothing good would come for Goodell's league if a Hall of Fame quarterback and his former team carry their increasingly bitter fight onto the practice field -- and on the weekend of the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement, no less.
Only Goodell stood in the way of Favre boarding a private jet Thursday afternoon and heading to Green Bay for an in-person showdown with the Packers. While the aircraft waited at a regional airport near Favre's home in Hattiesburg, Miss., Goodell decided against acting on Favre's reinstatement request for the second consecutive day.
"He's ready to go back," agent James "Bus" Cook told the Associated Press. "But he can't go back until the commissioner reinstates him."
Goodell is hoping -- perhaps blindly -- that Favre and the Packers can work out a compromise that prevents an ugly public spectacle. Unfortunately for both sides, there isn't much middle ground between what Favre wants (a release) and what the Packers are hoping for (a renewed commitment to retire). A trade continues to be the only viable option. But thus far, Favre hasn't been willing to consider the options Green Bay has presented, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
That hasn't stopped the Packers from trying, however. The Green Bay Press-Gazette reported Thursday evening that talks were continuing with the New York Jets. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, meanwhile, suggested the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' interest currently trumps that of the Jets. The Journal Sentinel also has reported the Packers would consider trading Favre to the Minnesota Vikings or Chicago Bears.
Barring a quick deal, Goodell eventually will have to act on the request or face a potential confrontation with the NFL Players Association. But for now, like the fan who keeps watching with his team down 48-0, Goodell is hoping for a miracle comeback.