Favre Reinstated, Headed to Green Bay With Plans to Resume Playing Career (Updated 6:30 p.m.)
Quarterback Brett Favre is rejoining the Green Bay Packers with plans to end his five-month retirement and play this season, perhaps even reclaiming his old starting job from would-be successor Aaron Rodgers.
The NFL announced today that Commissioner Roger Goodell will reinstate Favre on Monday afternoon.
The league office issued a statement that says: "Commissioner Goodell will reinstate Brett Favre to the Green Bay Packers' active roster, effective at noon (Green Bay time) on Monday, August 4."
Two people familiar with Favre's thinking, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic, said that Favre intends to play this season.
"He's going back to play," one source said.
A source said this evening that the Packers plan to allow Favre to compete for the starting job after saying previously they were committed to Rodgers taking over as the starter and Favre, if he came back, being relegated to backup status. The Packers also ended negotiations with Favre on a marketing deal that would have kept him in retirement, the source said.
Favre, a three-time NFL most valuable player, led the Packers to the NFC title game last season. He turns 39 in October. He has started 275 straight games, including the playoffs.
Late this afternoon, the Packers acknowledged that Favre is returning with the intention of playing this season.
They issued a written statement from Mark Murphy, their team president and chief executive officer, that said: "Sixteen years after Brett Favre came to the Packers, he is returning for a seventeenth season. He has had a great career with our organization and although we built this year around the assumption that Brett meant what he said about retiring, Brett is coming back. We will welcome him back and turn this situation to our advantage.
"Frankly, Brett's change of mind put us in a very difficult spot. We now will revise many actions and assumptions about our long-term future, all predicated on Brett's decision last March to retire. As a result of his decision, we invested considerably in a new and different future without Brett and we were obviously moving in that direction. That's why this wasn't easy. Having crossed the Rubicon once when Brett decided to retire, it's very difficult to reorient our plans and cross it again in the opposite direction--but we'll put this to our advantage.
"Brett will be in camp tomorrow. Although there has been uncertainty regarding Brett's return, [General Manager] Ted Thompson and Coach [Mike] McCarthy had previously discussed this and have had a plan in place. Coach McCarthy will talk to the team and the quarterbacks about the plan moving forward, and after he has done that we will share it publicly.
"No matter what, I look forward to another successful season for the Packers and our fans. This has been a tough situation, but the Packers will make the most of it."
The Packers have scheduled a news conference with McCarthy for Monday night to discuss the team's quarterback situation.
Earlier, a person close to the Packers said team officials had remained intent upon keeping Favre off the practice field in Green Bay if possible and did not believe that negotiations on a financial deal for Favre to remain in retirement were over. They planned to intensity their efforts to trade Favre if they failed to convince him to stay retired, the source said. But, according to the source, the Packers even then planned to allow Favre to return to the team, as required by NFL rules, if they couldn't convince him to stay retired and didn't receive what they regarded as a suitable trade offer.
Favre plans to travel to Green Bay today and the Packers, according to sources, have indicated they will make a roster move involving the quarterback Monday.
Favre had been considering a lucrative offer by the Packers to pay him to stay retired.
Technically, the Packers don't have to make a move Monday since league rules give them 24 hours after he's reinstated to trade him, release him or put him back on the roster. But they apparently have agreed to act Monday. If they don't trade Favre immediately and instead put him back on their roster, they perhaps could trade him later in training camp.
Favre currently is on the Packers' reserve-retired list. The team would have to perform a move involving another player to clear a roster spot for Favre if he's added to the roster Monday.
The Packers are scheduled to have a scrimmage tonight. They aren't scheduled to practice Monday but resume practicing Tuesday. If the Packers put him back on their roster, he presumably would practice for the first time Tuesday. He first would have to pass a physical but is said to be in good shape after working out regularly while at home in Mississippi.
Favre previously had indicated he wasn't interested in being Rodgers's backup.
The Packers perhaps still could trade Favre before the regular season if an injury to another team's quarterback increases his trade value.
Thompson has said the club will not trade him to a fellow NFC North team like the Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears or Detroit Lions. But there have been reports that the Packers might reconsider that if they're left with no other options. Letting Favre go to Minnesota might be particularly difficult for the Packers, who filed a tampering charge with the league against the Vikings for alleged improper contact with Favre. The New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers reportedly have expressed interest in Favre but he has not seemed particularly interested in playing for either of those teams. Favre could, in effect, block any proposed trade by refusing to report to a new team.
The Packers have offered Favre a 10-year marketing deal, reportedly worth between $20 million and $25 million, for him not to play. But Favre has indicated he would like to play this season. Favre, who retired in March but changed his mind in recent weeks, has asked the Packers to release him but they have refused, at least so far. Many in the league are convinced that Favre wants to play for the Vikings.
There had been conflicting reports in recent days about whether Favre would accept the Packers' offer to pay him not to play. The Packers say the deal has been on the table since March. But it did not become public knowledge until after Murphy traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss., last week to meet with Favre and his agent, Bus Cook, at Cook's office.
Cook did not immediately return a message today.
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