Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Updated: October 20, 10:53 AM ET
Brett Favre, NFL complete meeting
ESPN.com news services
The meeting between Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre and NFL vice president for security Milt Ahlerich was completed Tuesday, sources told ESPN's Ed Werder.
Details were not immediately available and the exact location of the meeting was not publicly disclosed.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello declined to confirm the meeting took place. Favre's agent, Bus Cook, did not return messages left by The Associated Press.
The NFL wanted to meet with Favre over allegations that he sent lewd photos and inviting text messages and voice mail to a female employee of the New York Jets two years ago, back when both were with the franchise. The woman, Jenn Sterger, has not commented about the allegations posted on the Deadspin website.
Ahlerich will create a report from the interview with Favre, and that material will be reviewed by other league officials involved in this investigation, league sources told Werder. Based on that review, they will determine whether others should be interviewed and renew efforts to convince Sterger and two Jets team massage therapists to speak.
To date, Ahlerich and his security department have had no success in attempts to interview Sterger. Without Sterger's cooperation the investigation could hit a dead end as early as this week, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen on Sunday.
Wednesday morning, Sterger's publicist told ESPN's Kelly Naqi that "after much deliberation," the firm of LaRusso & Conway had been retained to represent Sterger and "to advise her throughout the process," with Joseph Conway serving as lead counsel.
Vikings coach Brad Childress said the team will not have a role in the discussions between Favre and the league to his knowledge, and said Monday that "that's not our responsibility."
At a promotional union event in Minnesota, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith declined to provide details on Favre's situation.
"I understand that he is meeting, or representatives have met or are meeting, with the league," Smith said, according to the AP. "When we meet and talk with players, I don't intend to play it out in front of the press."
Added Smith: "We represent every player. Our issues are to ensure that the process is fair, and we do everything to ensure that that process is fair."
As for Favre, he will be in Minnesota on Wednesday to prepare for Sunday's game against the Packers in Green Bay, a place where the quarterback has long said his reputation is most important to him. Favre has declined to speak with the media about his off-the-field situation but will have another opportunity at his weekly news conference on Wednesday.
Whatever happens, the 41-year-old Favre has not looked like the same spry, confident quarterback he was last year when the Vikings were undefeated and scoring plenty of points. The addition of wide receiver Randy Moss was a big boost, but Favre has clearly missed Sidney Rice while the Pro Bowl receiver from last season recovers from hip surgery.
Favre's elbow was bothering him before a cortisone shot last week calmed it down. He has said all along the mental drain of playing is harder to fight than physical pain, but he can't go on this way forever. The slow recovery from offseason ankle surgery was one of many reasons why he waited until mid-August to decide to come back.
Favre has acknowledged a few times this fall that so far this season hasn't been as much fun as the past one. He recalled a conversation with his mother and other family members after the Vikings lost their first two games.
"They said, 'You've got to start smiling more,'" Favre said. "That's pressure."
Favre -- who has not denied the allegations or commented specifically about the scandal -- has seen his reputation take a hit and his record consecutive-games streak put in jeopardy should the NFL suspend him.
"It's in the back of our heads, I'm sure, but like I said everything will take care of itself and we can only control what we can control," wide receiver Percy Harvin said Monday of the possibility of Favre missing time. "If he's here, we'll love it. If he's not, we've got his back, and hopefully he'll get back soon."
Favre said Sunday he's only "concerned about the next game" and that he'll let the investigation "take its course." He said he hasn't been feeling extra pressure to succeed because of the controversy.
There's probably enough pressure from this month's schedule.
On Sunday night, he returns to Lambeau Field for a game against his old team. The Packers are beat up, but there's no regular-season game they'd rather win than this one. On Halloween, there's a trip to New England to play the Patriots, who are 4-1 entering this week.
"We deal with adversity so much," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said, adding: "All we can control is what we can control. ... That's what a professional is all about. That's what a man is all about."
Childress shrugged off a question about whether Favre might be getting more than he bargained for this season, pinning any frustration, uncertainty or stress on the team's losing record.
"Smiling is when you're having success and having fun," Childress said. "So hopefully as I say, god willing, he can smile a little bit more as we go forward."
ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder and The Associated Press contributed to this report.