Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Favre says of situation: 'This probably isn't going to work'
By Chris Mortensen ESPN.com
Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre went into a meeting Tuesday morning acknowledging that he was at a "stalemate" with the team and believed the "best thing for this team is for us to part ways."
Favre left practice shortly before 3 p.m. ET Tuesday, telling ESPN's Wendi Nix that he was not going to practice. He said there would be another meeting with his family and Packers general manager Ted Thompson to discuss trade possibilities, in hope of resolving the situation. That meeting at Favre's house ended at 3:45 p.m. ET.
"We're at a stalemate," Favre said. "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 [Roger Goodell] reinstated me so we have a lot of things to figure out. It's simple and complicated, both at the same time."
Favre said the team once again rejected his request to talk to teams about a trade within the NFC North -- preferably to the Minnesota Vikings or possibly the Chicago Bears.
The problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it. Stuff has been said, stories planted, that just aren't true. Can I get over all that? I doubt it.
-- Brett Favre
But a source said Favre is now receptive to talking to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an NFC South team, about a possible trade there.
Favre left the Packers' facility without practicing on Tuesday, but sources told Nix that his wife, Deanna, and his agent, James "Bus" Cook, encouraged him to practice.
Favre clarified reports that he and the Packers have backpedaled on the premise that there would be an open competition with Aaron Rodgers for the starting job.
"Mike told me, hey, we're a better team with you on it but wanted to know if I have a problem with an open competition," Favre said. "I don't have a problem with competing -- you know that, but Aaron should be the starter right now because he's been out here all this time. This is more than about an open competition and I can do that, absolutely, but this is going to be mass confusion and that's not good for this team.
"I'll practice my butt off, if it comes to that, and I think we all know what the end result will be, but this probably isn't going to work. And I truly understand that if I was in Mike's shoes, I'd see it basically the same way he sees it, I'm sure. And I think if he was in my shoes, he'd see it my way. I think we both agree on that.
"They want to know if I'm committed but I want to know if they're 100 percent committed. The problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it. Stuff has been said, stories planted, that just aren't true. Can I get over all that? I doubt it."
Favre, who officially returned from retirement Sunday, met with McCarthy for 5½ hours on Monday night without reaching a resolution. The meeting went long enough that McCarthy had to postpone a planned briefing with the media.
Favre announced his retirement on March 6, and the Packers moved ahead with Rodgers, Favre's former understudy, as the team's new starting quarterback. But Favre, still under contract with the Packers, then followed through on hints that he was interested in a return to the NFL.
The Packers have attempted to work out a trade outside the NFC North, with the New York Jets and Buccaneers reported as likely suitors, but to no avail. And last week, team president Mark Murphy flew to Mississippi to discuss a marketing deal for Favre worth a reported $25 million. Favre has not accepted that deal, either.
Asked what stories have been "planted," Favre alluded to the reports that said he waffled on unretiring in late March or early April. He said that's "just not the way it went down, at all."
He also expressed anger with the stories that alleged he had a team-issued cell phone that showed the Vikings were tampering with him.
"Again, that was bull on both parts," he said.
"Then," Favre said, "they tried to buy me off to stay retired."
He added, "So they can say they welcome me back but, come on, the way they've treated me tells you the truth. They don't want me back, so let's move on. I don't know where it's headed. We'll see."
ESPN's Chris Mortensen covers the NFL. ESPN reporters Wendi Nix and Ed Werder contributed to this report.