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Just got off a teleconference with newly retired quarterback Brett Favre, who left very little room for the change of heart many are assuming would occur. Favre said the biggest factor in his decision was the condition of his right shoulder, which he said needs a surgical procedure he wasn't willing to have.
Favre did acknowledge the elephant in the room, jokingly telling a reporter: "I have no reason to wonder why you would be skeptical." Favre said it would be "tempting" to consider a return if he somehow recovered on his own, but he seems convinced the shoulder wouldn't hold up for another season.
"Physically if I felt better," Favre said, "we may not be having this conversation. But I think that [the shoulder] more than anything was the writing on the wall for me."
The apparent severity of the shoulder injury, which Favre said required at least one cortisone shot last season, makes retirement about as permanent as it can be for someone with Favre's long history of waffling. But Favre was much more ambiguous about his relationship with the Green Bay Packers, who said in a statement Wednesday that they planned to retire his No. 4 at some point in the future.
Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette asked Favre how long it would take to heal the wounds of his divorce with the Packers. Here's what Favre said:
"I haven't even thought about it. For the teammates I played with in Green Bay and the fans, nothing has changed since day one. It's a shame the way it has unfolded throughout this whole thing. I don't know. I don't have answer for that right now. It may be five years. It may be the first game [of 2009]. I have no idea. Honestly, I haven't even thought about it."
Dougherty then asked Favre if he would wait to reconcile until after general manager Ted Thompson left the organization. Favre's response:
"I don't know. He had his reasonings. I had my reasonings. Who is to say who is right and who is wrong? He has a plan. I'm not mad at him for that. Other people may be. I don't know. It's a touchy situation and I know that my stay in Green Bay was unbelievable. Unbelievable. Nothing can take that away. ... It is what it is. It's unfortunate. But at some point it'll be dealt with."
Finally, Favre was asked about part of an ESPN report we referenced Wednesday morning: That his agent, Bus Cook, informally broached the subject of a release. The move would allow Favre to sign with the team of his choice should he decide to play again.
Favre denied asking for a release but added: "It doesn't matter one way or the other. It all comes down to physically how I feel. That could change based on arthroscopic surgery or whatever. But I'm not willing to do that, and I'm not willing to take that chance. But, no, we didn't ask for a release."
There is a difference between informally broaching the topic and outright asking for a release, but we'll leave that distinction alone for now. At the end of a long day of Favre-talk, it seems we can shut the door on his career.
Pretty much. We'll leave it cracked open just a bit. Just in case.