|Favre committed to play in '08 - unless he doesn't|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 15 July 2008 23:13|
``I've always been a Packer, always will be a Packer,'' Favre said in a two-part interview with Fox News this week. ``Will I play somewhere else? Remains to be seen.''
In his first public comments since asking the Packers to release him, Favre made it clear his relationship with the franchise is broken - perhaps beyond repair.
He wants to be cut loose. He'd consider a trade. He wouldn't come back to the Packers as a backup, and can't imagine why he'd have to compete for his starting job.
At least twice in his interview with Fox News' ``On the Record With Greta Van Susteren,'' Favre said he might not play at all. Asked if he is 100 percent committed to playing in the upcoming season, Favre gave a qualified yes: ``Where is a different story.''
``I very well may not play,'' Favre then said, depending on ``the circumstances.''
Favre said he understands why the Packers would want to move on after he retired in early March. But he accused the Packers' front office of being dishonest, although he didn't point out specific instances.
``If you move on, you tell me one thing, don't come back and tell the public ... just say it: 'You know, we've moved on and we'll work with Brett on whatever it is,''' Favre said. ``Don't make up a lot of stuff or give half of the truth.''
Then again, it was Favre who text-messaged a reporter with the Gulfport (Miss.) Sun Herald earlier this month to dismiss reports of him having second thoughts on retirement as ``all rumor'' and saying there was ``no reason'' for a media frenzy. That was nearly two weeks after, in Favre's own words, he told the Packers this:
``You give me my helmet, welcome back, or release me, or attempt to trade me.''
Packers players report to training camp July 27. Favre said he is tempted to show up.
``It's tempting just to, as everyone said, you know, call their bluff or whatever,'' Favre said. ``I think it's going to be a circus in itself already, whether I go there, whatever.''
But, Favre added: ``I don't want to go back there just to stick it to them.''
Favre, a three-time MVP, said he feels ``a little bit'' bad for would-be successor Aaron Rodgers, the team's 2005 first-round draft choice, and insists he doesn't want to be a distraction.
``I know this has been tough on him,'' Favre said. ``I think he'll do a fine job. And this has nothing to do with him, this whole deal.''
That said, Favre doesn't seem inclined to take a back seat to Rodgers.
``We'll pay you $12 million, but you've got to hold the clipboard and ball cap?'' Favre said. ``That's probably better for them as opposed to letting me go somewhere and me coming back. Then their legacy, the management, would, you know, could be in jeopardy.''
Would he go into camp to compete for the starting job?
``Why?'' Favre said. ``That's what I would ask them: Why?''
Team officials have been careful not to criticize Favre, instead laying out a detailed timeline of their offseason dealings with him. The team hopes fans understand why the Packers wouldn't be willing to abandon their offseason plans with Rodgers just because Favre changed his mind.
After retiring in early March, Favre told the Packers he was having second thoughts and was ready to return a few weeks later. General manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy had made plans to take a private plane to Mississippi to seal the deal on Favre's comeback, only to have him change his mind again and stay retired.
Thompson has said the Packers do not plan to grant Favre his release. And while Thompson said Favre could return to the Packers if he applies to the league for reinstatement, it would be ``in a different role than he was'' because the team had committed to Rodgers.
Thompson and McCarthy also have said they are concerned about Favre's legacy, but Favre said that's his problem, not theirs.
``You don't worry about my legacy,'' Favre said. ``And, you know, it's a bunch of bull. It's all it is.''
Favre conceded a trade might be the only way to get his way.
``They're not going to do it with a big rival or competitor or whatever, but that may be our only option,'' Favre said. ``I don't know what else to do.
``I like my teammates,'' he added. ``I had a lot of fun with them. I have talked to numerous guys throughout this whole ordeal. I wish them the best, I really do. I hold nothing against those guys. We had a lot of fun together. We had, it was an amazing year last year. I don't want to make it any worse than it is.''
And right now, it's pretty bad. Favre and the Packers appear headed toward a messy divorce. Favre's decision to ask for his release blindsided the Packers.
``This is an ongoing situation,'' team spokesman Jeff Blumb said Tuesday evening. ``We're working through it, and we're going to do the right thing.''