GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - By signing the papers, Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson knew he would become the man who traded Brett Favre.
And no, he wasn't particularly comfortable with that.
``I don't think anybody would be comfortable with that,'' Thompson said Thursday, hours after trading Favre to the New York Jets. ``This is in many ways sad that this is where it came to. At the end of the day, though, we felt like - I think all the parties involved felt like - it was the best solution to a very difficult situation.''
For the Packers, there were no good solutions to their awkward and tense monthlong standoff with Favre. Wednesday night's trade to the Jets was simply the least painful of several bad options.
Yes, Green Bay traded away perhaps the most beloved player in franchise history and will be without a three-time MVP who might still have a couple of good years left in him.
And the team took a public relations beating as tensions escalated over the past month, though many fans who have tired of Favre's incessant waffling on his football future backed the front office.
But along with the reported conditional draft pick they're getting in return from the Jets, the Packers also receive much-needed closure to one of the ugliest splits between a team and its star player in recent memory.
``This is really a bittersweet time for the organization,'' Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy said. ``I think we're all sad to see Brett Favre's career as a Packer end. But we are glad that this matter has come to closure in a way that's good for the team and good for Brett.''
Despite obvious signs earlier this week that the split between the Packers and Favre was fractured beyond repair, team officials again found themselves fending off questions about why the team wouldn't play Favre instead of Aaron Rodgers because Favre gives them the best chance to win.
When pressed, Packers coach Mike McCarthy admitted that he would have given Favre the chance to ``compete for his position,'' although it was not clear whether that meant competing for the starting job.
But McCarthy reiterated several times that talks between he and Favre earlier in the week ``never got to that point'' - presumably meaning Favre couldn't commit to the Packers because he couldn't get past his animosity toward the team's management, and perhaps couldn't stomach the thought of disrupting team chemistry any more than he already had.
``I was just looking for him to tell me that he was ready to play for the Green Bay Packers,'' McCarthy said. ``And if we would have got to that point, then our conversation would have continued. And it did not get to that point.''
Packers officials were careful not to criticize Favre on Thursday. Left unsaid was the fact that Favre's high-maintenance tendencies are the Jets' problem now.
Thompson, who has absorbed considerable public criticism from Favre in the past month, nevertheless wished him well. Of course, it probably helps that the Packers won't play the Jets this year unless it's in the Super Bowl.
``Despite opinions to the contrary, I like Brett a lot,'' Thompson said. ``I'd love to see him have the time of his life.''
Murphy said the team obviously won't retire Favre's jersey as planned during the Sept. 8 season opener against Minnesota, but will sometime in the future.
McCarthy said Favre wants to have a long-term relationship with the Packers, perhaps even helping Packers quarterbacks in future training camps after he really retires.
``I told him he could help with the quarterbacks, but I don't want any new plays,'' McCarthy joked. ``This is important to him. He recognizes that. When you step out of what's happened and everything, he has a very positive opinion about the fans, the experience he's had with his family. He didn't want to do this to his teammates any more. He felt it clearly went on long enough.''

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