Despite an avalanche of acrimony that ultimately led to Brett Favre playing for the New York Jets last season, the Green Bay Packers want to honor Favre by retiring his No. 4 jersey at the ``appropriate'' time.
But even Favre - who retired from football for the second, and perhaps final, time on Wednesday - isn't sure when the time might be right to heal his still-smoldering rift with the franchise that traded him.
``It's a shame what has unfolded throughout the whole thing,'' Favre said in a teleconference Wednesday. ``But I don't know. I don't know. I don't have an answer for that right now. It may be five years, it may be the first game.''
And Favre hinted that the continued presence of the man who traded him, Packers general manager Ted Thompson, might play a role in when he's ready to return to Green Bay.
e, but I don't know. It's a touchy situation.''
Wednesday's retirement announcement was Favre's second in less than a year, coming after several offseasons' worth of public indecision about his football future.
Favre waved a tearful goodbye in his Packers retirement news conference last March but almost immediately began having second thoughts and privately told the Packers he wanted to come back. Thompson and Packers coach Mike McCarthy were prepared to welcome him back - only to have Favre change his mind once again and stay retired.
By July, the Packers had decided to commit to Aaron Rodgers at quarterback and Favre began to have what he termed an ``itch'' to play again.
After several weeks' worth of public bickering that ended with a conversation between Favre and McCarthy - at which point McCarthy determined Favre wasn't in the right ``mind-set'' to play for the Packers any more - the team worked out a trade with the Jets and Favre accepted.
But the Packers put the ugly episode aside on Wednesday, issuing a statement congratulating Favre on his career and reiterating their intention to eventually welcome him back.
Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy also has said that a multimillion-dollar marketing agreement with Favre could still be on the table when Favre is done playing for good. The deal originally was offered to Favre last summer, while he still seemed to be wavering on his decision to unretire.
Favre reiterated his love for Green Bay teammates and fans on Wednesday but seemed to have trouble hiding his distaste for Thompson.
``My stay in Green Bay was unbelievable, unbelievable,'' Favre said. ``And not one thing could take that away, not one person. And that organization has been outstanding to me throughout my career. It is what it is. It's unfortunate. But at some point, it'll be dealt with.''

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