Brett Favre’s return to Lambeau Field may be a short one as the trade rumours surrounding the Green Bay Packers’ legend grew on Tuesday with Tampa Bay and the New York Jets both mentioned as potential destinations.
The rumours of a trade by either team for Favre came out after it was revealed that the former NFL MVP had met with Packers head coach Mike McCarthy twice for extensive amounts of time over Monday and Tuesday. After the discussions Favre was reported to be even more sure that he wants to play football in 2008, but less convinced that Green Bay – his home for 17 seasons – would be the best place for him to play.
"The one thing I was looking for out of that conversation, was (whether) he (was) ready, committed to play football for the Green Bay Packers," McCarthy said. ". . . I don't want to speak for him, but based on where he is and the path that it took for him to get to this part, he wasn't in the right mindset to play here."
Brett Favre may choose between the Buccaneers and Jets. Photo Getty ImagesEven with the chance to win his starting job back potentially on the table, McCarthy said Favre couldn't seem to get past emotional wounds that were opened as tensions mounted in recent weeks.
"The football team's moving forward," McCarthy said. "The train has left the station, whatever analogy you want. He needs to jump on the train and let's go. Or, if we can't get past things that have happened, I have to keep the train moving."
Favre plans to remain in Green Bay until there is a resolution -- either a trade is completed or the Packers give him permission to return to Mississippi.
Before Tuesday, Favre had refused to talk with the Buccaneers or Jets about a possible trade, even though the Packers had given his agent permission to talk to both clubs. But the developments since his arrival in Green Bay on Monday apparently has changed Favre's mind.
At one point during Tuesday's news conference, McCarthy was pressed why Favre wasn't currently the starting quarterback for the Packers.
"That's a great question," he said. "I think you need to ask Brett. I think it's pretty complex, as far as the way he feels, the chain of events, the path that we've taken to get here. But it's not as simple as No. 4 going out there and playing football."
The Packers have placed Favre on the Declared Non-Football Injury List due to an existing lower abdominal injury he would have been forced to rehab at practice. Favre counts against the Packers' 80-player roster, but he will not be paid by the team.
Favre did not join the Packers for their only practice on Tuesday morning, the first session he was eligible to join the team after he was reinstated by the NFL and added to the active roster on Monday.
Favre left Lambeau Field just before Packers practice Tuesday afternoon, taking a right turn out of the stadium's back gate and heading away from the field where the rest of his teammates were assembling for drills.
"We're at a stalemate," Favre told ESPN Tuesday morning. "Mike and I both agreed last night that me being out there is a distraction and will continue to be a distraction. We all know the reason I'm here is because the commissioner reinstated me so we have a lot of things to figure out. It's simple and complicated, both at the same time."
Favre told ESPN he doesn't have a problem with competing with Rodgers for the starting job, and can "truly understand" why McCarthy would make Rodgers the starter. But Favre also said a competition "probably isn't going to work" and that "the problem is that there's been a lot of damage done and I can't forget it."
Did Favre not feel wanted or welcome enough by the Packers?
"That's part of the issue with him, quite frankly," McCarthy said. "And listening to him talk about that, you respect his opinion. And frankly, I told him, I said, 'I'll take responsibility because I have a voice in the building.' I never thought he truly was going to play. I thought he was emotionally driven for other reasons."
Alby Jnr for NFLUK.com