Favre Says "Release Me"
Brett Favre crying during his farewell press conference. | Photo: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The longest-lasting love affair between a team and his quarterback in NFL history is over.
And the quarterback broke the marriage.
Brett Favre's agent, Bus Cook, sent a letter that the Packers have received, stating his wish for a release from the team which he has quarterbacked for 16 seasons to 15 .500+ seasons, seven division championships, two NFC titles and a Super Bowl title.
Packers GM Ted Thompson and head coach Mike McCarthy say they don't plan to release Favre. Thompson and McCarthy say if he does rejoin the team, it won't be as the starting quarterback.
The Packers, in a statement, have said they will own the rights to him once he gets NFL reinstatement, and that when it comes to keeping, releasing or trading him, they will act "in the best interest of the team."
Read more of this story below these links:
• 620WTMJ's Jon Byman and Bill Michaels break the story
• Packers Gameday's Lance Allan talks with Brett's brother Scott on Today's TMJ4
• Brian Noble on the Greenhouse
• LeRoy Butler on Sports Central
• William Henderson on Today's TMJ4
• Packers Gameday host Dennis Krause chimes in on the Greenhouse
"He's not wanted," said Scott Favre, Brett's brother. "They have moved on, so why shouldn't Brett move on?
"All indications are that they've moved on. No one said anything about wanting him back, so it just looks apparent."
According to ESPN's report, Favre and the Packers spoke in a conference call on Tuesday. The Packers gave their indications to Favre that he had already retired, that it was clear he was retiring, and that the team had moved on.
Favre, according to the report, expressed his wish in playing again for Green Bay during the conference call. ESPN's report states that Thompson was making the point the Packers were moving on.
Three days later, he made his request for a release.
Should the Packers grant it, that means Favre can negotiate and sign a contract with any team in the National Football League.
In the request, he has asked specifically to be released, and not traded to another team.
However, the Packers own the rights to Favre and have three options:
• Not grant his release and keep him under contract for the remainder of her two-year contract. Historically, no NFL team has ever denied a request by a retired player to have a release from their contract.
• Allow him to go to another squad.
• Trade him to another squad. This option would allow the Packers to handpick the squad Favre would go to. Typically, a team would make a point to avoid sending a player like Favre to go to another squad.
Statement from the Packers
Some key words from a statement came directly from the Packers public relations office give an explanation that the Packers hold the cards in this situation as to Favre's release, trade, or staying under Green Bay's personnel umbrella:
"As a retired player, Brett has the option to apply for reinstatement with Commissioner Goodell. If that were to occur, he would become an active member of the Green Bay Packers. As always, the Packers will do what’s right and in the best interest of the team.
Brett's Brother on Favre's Future
Scott Favre has consistently given a window on Brett Favre's "will I play or won't I" situation as the years have gone on.
Now, he explains much of what Favre has been thinking in the last few days since the Packers' talked with the 16-year signalcaller, and in the months said Favre said "it's over" in a tearful March press conference.
"It's been going on, whether he told them he was or not, they were in contact," said Scott on Today's TMJ4.
"He's been working out," seemingly in expectation of returning to Green Bay - an expectation that seemingly got destroyed by the discussion he had with the Packers on Tuesday.
"Why would he want to go back to Green Bay when he's not wanted. Things have changed."
Changed beyond repair between Brett and the team that he's defined for a generation?
"You never say never, but I just don't see it happening. I don't see how everybody could get along after this."
That seems to almost guarantee he won't ever be a Packer, but he'll suit up for another NFL squad.
"If he wants to play, hopefully it's very likely.
"He has to do what he has to do to protect his interest, and the Packers have to do what they have to do."
Who Could Favre Go To?
Two potential suitors for Favre's skills perhaps have the greatest need for a quarterback and the ability to become a playoff contender if they get that quarterback:
The Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings.
Those teams reside in the NFC North, and Favre would then play twice against the Packers.
That becomes the rub for Green Bay in its decision on what to do with this release request.
If they agree to a trade, AFC teams such as Baltimore, Kansas City and the New York Jets could be potential agreeable suitors to the Packers, teams with starting quarterback needs that Green Bay wouldn't play in 2008.
Other Legendary QB's Moved Late In Career
Favre certainly belongs on the National Football League pantheon all-time top quarterbacks with his NFL records for wins, consecutive starts, completions, touchdown passes, and yardage.
Many members of that pantheon have also taken a similar step.
Johnny Unitas, judged by many as the greatest quarterback of all time (and the only one who's also won three NFL MVP awards), left the Baltimore Colts - the team he became a legend on for as long as Favre, 16 years - to play for the San Diego Chargers in a season that saw him perform the worst in his career.
Joe Montana, who powered the San Francisco 49ers for 14 years and delivered them to four Super Bowl championships, had a trade to Kansas City when the Niners realized Steve Young was the quarterback of their future.
That was a very similar step to the Packers' seemingly obvious wish to make Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback.
Montana eventually led Kansas City to two playoff berths in 1993 and 94.
Joe Namath, a quarterback whose statistics don't match Unitas and Montana but whose legend from Super Bowl III will stand forever in NFL annals, had a very Unitas-like final season, going from the New York Jets to the Los Angeles Rams as a quarterback whose knees wouldn't let him perform the way his legend demanded.