“I’ve kind of been on the forefront of getting this thing done, you know, in my own way,” Rodgers said on Wednesday. “I wanted to make sure my voice was out there and behind Brett coming back. I think it’s important to bring him back into the fold. It was a great thing to be able to announce that and retire his number and put his number in the Packer Hall of Fame, which is obvious – of course it’s going to happen. He’s one of the greatest Packers of all-time and one of the greatest NFL players of all-time. It’s good to get him back here and hopefully get him here in the fall, as well.”
It was exactly six years ago – Aug. 6, 2008 – when the Packers traded Favre to the Jets. The saga split the fan base, with either Thompson or Favre serving as the villain.
During a conference call on Monday, Favre said he had exchanged text messages with general manager Ted Thompson over the years.
“What he’s done for this place is remarkable,” Thompson said on Wednesday. “I was here in ’92 when Ron (Wolf) first acquired Brett, so, we said, we sort of grew up with the Packers. And he’s a good guy, great football player and good teammate. We’re happy all that other stuff is kind of been put aside, and let’s go forward with the relationship.”
Plenty has happened since the trade: With Rodgers taking over as starter, the Packers went just 6-10 in 2008; Favre retired again, only to surface with the rival Vikings in 2009; Favre beat the Packers twice and almost led the Vikings to the Super Bowl in 2009; the Packers beat Favre twice and won the Super Bowl in 2010.
Favre and Rodgers presenting an award together at the “NFL Honors” show after the 2012 season and ice-breaking conversations between Favre and members of the Packers’ organization all led to Monday’s announcement that Favre would be honored in July.
“I feel like we’re so far on the other side of that and that situation,” Rodgers said. “It definitely built a lot of character I think in myself and a lot of people dealing with the uncertainty at times and some of the comments along the way but, you know, I’m very proud with what they’ve accomplished here collectively and individually. I’m very proud of the opportunity to be a Packer and the fact that they’re keeping me around for a while. So, this has been a special place to play. I’d like to start and finish my career here. I think there’s something really special about that, and I think it’s great that we can all move on, move forward together, as we’ve done as an organization with so many past players. Once a Packer always a Packer.”
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.