Asked about the record-setting quarterback during a conference call regarding the team’s finances, Murphy said the team has “no plans” to retire Favre’s number during a game in the upcoming season. He did say Favre could “possibly” attend a game this season to be introduced to the fans. That would serve as a litmus test to fan reaction for any number-retirement ceremony. Favre and the Packers engaged in a messy divorce in 2008, and things grew uglier when Favre retired from the Jets in 2008, only to resurface with the rival Vikings for 2009 and 2010. The question from both sides’ perspective is whether time has healed the wounds.
“That is an issue,” Murphy told reporters at Lambeau Field. “He doesn’t want (to get booed), and neither do we. He wouldn’t want to come back and get booed. You can’t control 80,750 people. I really think as time goes on, every year that passes, it’s less likely that he would get booed, but that is an issue.”
At the Tailgate Tour in April, Murphy said the team tried to bring back Favre for a game last season, but the Oak Grove High School football team that Favre helped coach — he was offensive coordinator — won Mississippi’s Class 6A state championship. The team’s season ended on Dec. 6.
The Packers only retire the numbers of their Pro Football Hall of Fame players. Favre is eligible for induction in 2016. Murphy said “our hope” is to retire Favre’s No. 4 before Favre’s induction.
“We have good relations with Brett,” Murphy said. “We’ve been in communication and we still hope to retire his number and have him come back to Green Bay in the future. Just a question of finding the right time?”
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.