Fact or fiction? Favre mulling retirement
Advertiser News Services
The corpse that was the Minnesota Vikings' 2009 season hadn't even had time to become cold late Sunday night when the first report surfaced that Brett Favre had said he was "highly unlikely" to come back for another year.
The information provided by ESPN promised to be the first of many Favre-related nuggets that emerge in the coming weeks and perhaps months as the quarterback ponders whether to return for a 20th NFL season and second with the Vikings.
Favre, 40, retired following the 2007 season and again last February, only to change his mind on both occasions before missing one regular-season game. Even Favre's teammates know now is not the time to make predictions.
"It's still early," wide receiver Bernard Berrian said before exiting the Winter Park, Minn., locker room yesterday and heading into the offseason. "Way too early. Brett is liable to change his mind five, 10 times down the road."
The fact anyone would think Favre could make up his mind about the future after a gut-wrenching 31-28 overtime loss at New Orleans in the NFC championship game is surprising. Favre is notorious for deciding he's had enough in the days after the season, and that likely is the case this time.
SUNDAY'S GAMES DRAW WELL
Brett Favre and Peyton Manning. A New York team and the city of New Orleans.
A long list of intriguing story lines — and two close contests — earned huge television ratings for the NFL's conference championships Sunday. The games drew the most viewers in 28 years, averaging 52.9 million people, up 34 percent from last season.
The dramatic NFC championship attracted 57.9 million viewers, the most since San Francisco beat Dallas on "The Catch" in 1982. The New Orleans Saints' overtime victory over Favre and the Minnesota Vikings on Fox was the most watched non-Super Bowl program since the series finale of "Seinfeld" 12 years ago.
PRO BOWL REPLACEMENTS
• Dallas quarterback Tony Romo is going to his third Pro Bowl, while Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins will go for the first time. Romo replaces Minnesota's Brett Favre, and Jenkins will take the roster spot of Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (foot).
• Guard Chris Snee and tackle David Diehl of the New York Giants have been added to the NFC Pro Bowl team. The Giants announced yesterday that Snee and Diehl will replace Jahari Evans and Jonathan Stinchcomb of New Orleans, who will not play in the game because the Saints advanced to the Super Bowl.
• Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb has earned his sixth trip to the Pro Bowl as a replacement for the Saints' Drew Brees. Also, Eagles strong safety Quintin Mikell was added to the NFC roster in place of the Saints' Roman Harper, who was an injury replacement for Arizona's Adrian Wilson.
• Jacksonville quarterback David Garrard has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster for Indianapolis' Peyton Manning, who will be playing in the Super Bowl. Garrard will be playing in the Pro Bowl for the first time in his eight-year career.
• Washington middle linebacker London Fletcher has been promoted to the NFC roster because Jonathan Vilma is going to the Super Bowl with New Orleans.
• New York Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis has been added to the AFC Pro Bowl roster, replacing Indianapolis' Robert Mathis.
Oakland coach Tom Cable is headed to the Senior Bowl while owner Al Davis still mulls his fate for next season.
Cable will be part of the Raiders contingent at the college all-star game in Mobile, Ala., this week.
Cable went 5-11 in his first full season as Raiders coach. He is 9-19 since replacing Lane Kiffin early in the 2008 season.