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In 2005, the Green Bay Packers drafted California University quarterback Aaron Rodgers to be the heir apparent to Brett Favre’s throne.
Rodgers spent the majority of his first three seasons watching Brett Favre from the sidelines, waiting for his moment.
On March 4th, 2008, the time had come.
Favre formally announced his retirement, effectively handing the reigns over to an unproven but talented Aaron Rodgers.
Favre stated, "I know I can play, but I don't think I want to. And that's really what it comes down to."
Green Bay immediately initiated the Aaron Rodgers era.
Feeling as if he was “guilty of retiring early,” Favre contacted Packers GM Ted Thompson and conveyed his desire for Green Bay to unconditionally release him, allowing him to play elsewhere. Thompson refused.
Ultimately, Favre decided to return to the NFL, and filed for reinstatement on July 29, 2008. Favre’s reinstatement was granted by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, effective August 4, 2008.
Favre then immediately reported to Packers training camp.
Favre made clear his refusal to play a backup role, and demanded a trade in a meeting with head coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson.
Ted Thompson basically thought that the Packers were better off in going with the talented Rodgers than with beloved Green Bay legend Brett Favre.
Thompson was ruthlessly criticized in Green Bay for his decision to move on in trading Brett Favre to the New York Jets. Thompson, though, firmly believed that he made the right decision and stuck with it.
Ted Thompson couldn’t have been more right in his decision. Brett Favre has gone on to enjoy only one postseason appearance in three years with two separate teams.
Rodgers went on to become the first and only player in NFL history to pass for over 4,000 yards in each of his first two starting seasons. In 2009, he was selected to the NFC Pro Bowl team.
In 2010, only three seasons removed from the departure of Brett Favre, Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl XLV victory. Following Green Bay’s 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Aaron Rodgers was named the Super Bowl’s Most Valuable Player.
I think that Ted Thompson may have made the correct decision.