Brett Favre…Retires….No…..Retires- That took two years

03 Aug 2010

MANKATO — Brett Favre’s wavering nature makes it impossible to call anything official — even when it seems to be that way — but NFL sources said the quarterback began informing Vikings personnel late Monday night that he has decided to retire for a third time.

Favre’s agent, Bus Cook, did not immediately respond to text messages.

Coach Brad Childress said he had no information to share at a press conference late this morning.

“I’m not a big hearsay person,” Childress said. “I’ve got to hear it from the horse’s mouth.”

Childress would not speculate on what would happen if Favre really doesn’t come back. “You know, those are all if-then hypotheses,” Childress said. “We’re day-to-day right here.”

At one point during the five-minute session with the media, which was broadcast by ESPN and KFAN, Childress said: “I feel like this is Watergate. Have I done something wrong?”

The Vikings’ ownership group, in town for two days of meetings, huddled on the playing field with vice presidents Rob Brzezinski and Rick Spielman earlier in the morning.

“If he’s in we move forward,” Childress said. “If not, we’ve only been in camp for four days.”

Favre has been unwilling to commit to playing a 20th NFL season, in large part because he has felt his left ankle has not responded the way he hoped after undergoing surgery in late May. However, many assumed Favre was simply buying time, as he appeared to a year ago.

In that case, Favre told coach Brad Childress he was retiring days before training camp opened but then changed his mind on Aug. 18 and joined the Vikings after one preseason game.

Nonetheless, Favre’s decision will come as a shock to the many who fully expected he would join the team once the Mankato portion of training camp ended. There still will be many who won’t be convinced Favre will stay retired until he doesn’t play a full season.

Favre, who will turn 41 on Oct. 10, had one of the best seasons of his career in 2009, throwing for 4,202 yards (his best total since 1998), 33 touchdowns (his best total since 1997) and a career-low seven interceptions in 2009.

He led the Vikings to a 12-4 record, a second consecutive NFC title and the conference championship game. Favre signed a two-year, $25 million contract last summer that would have paid him $13 million this season

This was the third time Favre had undergone surgery on his left ankle. He also had procedures performed in 1995 and 2007 when he was with the Packers. He had spent recent weeks throwing to receivers at Oak Grove High School near his home in Hattiesburg, Miss., in what had become his annual attempt to get in shape.

But Favre had expressed doubt about how the ankle felt, just as he expressed concern about his physical well being a year ago after having surgery to repair a partially torn biceps in his throwing arm.

“After almost nine weeks, [the ankle is] not where I would like it to be, but I’m working at it,” Favre was quoted as saying last month. “Maybe it never gets to where I want it to be. Forty years old … three surgeries … that’s all you need to know.”

Childress, who many believed already knew that Favre was going to be back in 2010, had been careful to not set a deadline for the quarterback to make a decision, hoping that by giving him all the time he needed it would make the decision easier. Childress visited Favre twice this offseason at his home in Mississippi but never applied any pressure.

This means the Vikings starting quarterback — if Favre holds true to his word and doesn’t change his mind in a couple of weeks — likely will be Tarvaris Jackson.

Jackson has taken the majority of the reps with the first team in the opening six training camp practices and coach Brad Childress has made it clear that the fifth-year veteran out of Alabama State is his starter.

Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb are the other two quarterbacks in camp. Jackson and Rosenfels began camp last season battling for the starting job before Favre arrived. Jackson did win the competition because he spent the entire season as the No. 2 quarterback behind Favre.

Jackson is 10-10 in his career as a starting and 10-9 in the regular season. Last year he saw action in eight games in relief of Favre and completed 14 of 21 passes for 201 yards with one touchdown.

Favre has waffled on retiring every summer since 2006. It led to an ugly parting with the Packers that got him traded from Green Bay to the Jets in 2008. After a so-so season in New York, he announced his retirement in early 2009 for the second time, then reconsidered and signed with the Vikings.

Favre is under contract for $13 million this season, but only if he plays.

Nearly everyone had assumed Favre would return and he did nothing to discourage that. He threw passes for a second straight summer with high school students in Hattiesburg, Miss., joked about playing until he’s 50 and said playing another year wouldn’t worsen his already-damaged ankle.