Favre's response to comeback report: `It's all rumor'
By Larry Holder
By Larry Holder
BILOXI, Miss. — Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre responded quickly Wednesday to an ESPN report about a possible return to play for the Green Bay Packers this season by telling the (Biloxi) Sun Herald, "It's all rumor." When queried about a possible media firestorm, Favre text messaged, "No reason for it."
Earlier today, ESPN reported a Green Bay Packers source said the 38-year-old Kiln native told Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy that Favre has the itch to play again.
The report also said, according to a source, the Packers would be reluctant to open the door for Favre because "Brett retired for the right reasons, even though I know his family is tugging on him (to play)."
An unnamed source told the Wisconsin State Journal this afternoon that Favre, or his agent Bus Cook on Favre's behalf, contacted the Packers "within the past couple of weeks" about a possible return. The conversation ended with Favre asking for his release and the Packers refused to give it to him.
The story also speculated the reason Favre asked for his release because the team was moving on with Aaron Rodgers as the starter and didn't want Favre back. Another theory was that the team was gauging Favre's seriousness of his request.
There's obvious pressure to follow a legend and Rodgers is the daunting position of taking Favre's place. But Rodgers in a recent Sports Illustrated article said he didn't feel pressure to connect with fans the way Favre did.
"I don't feel I need to sell myself to the fans," he said. "They need to get on board now or keep their mouths shut."
This hasn't been the first time since Favre's March 6 retirement announcement that a possible return by the future Hall of Fame quarterback has been knocked around in the media.
Nearly a month after Favre held an emotional press conference to end his 17-year career, The Los Angeles Times reported Cook inquired the interest of more than one team about a possible trade. Cook denied the report.
Then in June, Favre withdrew from the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe, scheduled for next week. A tournament spokesman said Favre pulled out because of a conflict of schedule.
There's also been speculation where Favre could return this season if Rodgers sustains a significant injury.
Current Packers cornerback Al Harris also said Favre told him in a recent interview on ESPN's NFL Live that Favre had an itch to return. Harris then said he didn't know if Favre would act on the itch.
Favre still has two years left on his contract where he'd make $12 million in base salary in 2008 and $13 million in 2009. The Packers placed Favre on the reserve/retired list on April 25 and the team holds Favre's right. That means the Packers can trade those rights to another team if another team wanted Favre and he wanted to return.