The Green Bay Packers have dealt quarterback Brett Favre to the New York Jets in exchange for conditional draft picks. The deal ends Favre’s record-setting 16 seasons in Green Bay during which time he won a Super Bowl, three MVP awards and set numerous passing records.
The Packers exchanged Favre for a fourth-round draft pick. The pick turns into a third-round selection if Favre plays in 50 percent of the plays this season, a second-rounder if he plays in 70 percent of the plays and the Jets qualify for the playoffs, and a first-round pick if he plays in 80 percent of the plays and Jets make it to the Super Bowl.
The Packers took great pains to ensure that Favre would not be traded to the Vikings by inserting a "poison pill" in the deal. If Favre were to be traded to Minnesota, the Jets would have to surrender three first-round picks to Green Bay.
Brett Favre has been traded to the New York Jets. "I am looking forward to seeing Brett Favre in a New York Jets uniform," said Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson said in a statement. "He represents a significant addition to this franchise, and reflects our commitment to putting the best possible team on the field.
"Mike Tannenbaum and his football administration staff did a great job of navigating this complex process. I am excited about welcoming Brett, Deanna and their family to the Jets organization."
The Packers had been talking with the Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers since deciding earlier this week that the team and the three-time MVP couldn't co-exist.
The Packers decided to move forward with Aaron Rodgers as their starting quarterback after Favre announced his retirement in March. Given their commitment to Rodgers, team officials weren't particularly receptive when Favre decided a little over a month ago that he might want to play after all -- the latest development in several years' worth of flip-flopping about his football future.
"Brett has had a long and storied career in Green Bay, and the Packers owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude for everything he accomplished on the field and for the impact he made in the state," Green Bay officials said in a statement.
"It is with some sadness that we make this announcement, but also with the desire for certainty that will allow us to move the team and organization forward in the most positive way possible."
"We just felt like this was an opportunity to go get somebody of Brett's stature and what he's accomplished," Tannenbaum, the Jets general manager, said during a conference call early Thursday morning. "We felt it was in the best interest of the team and when the opportunity presented itself, we felt it was the right move for us to make and we went ahead and did it."
A number of fans made it clear throughout training camp that they wanted Favre on the Jets with signs and "Get Brett!" chants. Favre's new No. 4 Jets jersey already was for sale on the team's Web site about an hour after the trade was announced.
Tannenbaum, who said he had a "good" conversation with Favre, wouldn't speculate whether the quarterback will play in New York beyond this season.
"We had discussions with him and his agent, Bus Cook," Tannenbaum said, "and we're going into this and we're going to take this one year at a time and we're excited to have Brett on the team this year."
The arrival of Favre signals the end of Chad Pennington's career with the Jets. Tannenbaum said there would be another transaction regarding Pennington, who spent his first eight seasons with the Jets.
"It's a bittersweet moment for us," Tannenbaum said. "I have all the respect in the world for Chad as a person, as a player. We've accomplished a lot of good things with Chad ... He gave his heart and soul to this organization for a long, long time. I really appreciate everything he's done."
Alby Jnr for NFLUK.com