Favre undecided about future

Quarterback tells ESPN he's leaning toward retirement

Brett Favre told ESPN on Sunday that he is leaning toward retirement. The veteran quarterback, in an exclusive interview with the cable television network, said that he would retire now if the Packers forced him to make a decision.

Favre said he is not sure if he is "mentally"ready to continue with his Hall of Fame career, or call it quits after 15 years in the National Football League, including 14 with the Packers.

"There's days I wake up and I say, ‘You know what? I can't retire, it would be stupid. What will I do?," Favre told Chris Mortensen in an interview that aired as ESPN's Sunday Conversation. "And there's other days I go, ‘You know what? If it's crunch time, two minutes left, do you want the ball?' I don't know if I do. That's the things I have to sort out right now."

Favre had the worst season of his career with a 70.9 passer rating. He was intercepted a career-high 29 times, tying a team record, and the Packers finished 4-12. It was the first time the Packers finished with a losing record with Favre as quarterback.

"I'd like to wait till training camp," Favre said with a laugh. "But I know I have to make the decision in the next month for their sake."

Favre said he's told Packers general manager Ted Thompson recently that if the team doesn't want to wait for him to commit to either playing the 2006 season or retiring, then he should be "cut loose."

"I love the game too much and I love my legacy too much to have that just be OK," Favre said, "and I don't want to be just OK. I want to be good, and I don't know if I'm committed enough [right now] to be good on an everyday basis."

Favre says he feels fine physically, but he's not sure if he's ready to take on the mental grind of the annual NFL marathon.

"I still know I can play, I still love to play, but there's still much more to it. I never thought I'd give out mentally before I gave out physically," he said.

Favre has also hinted that the Packers' offseason moves would play a role in his decision and it isn't clear what impact the team's hiring of Mike McCarthy to succeed Mike Sherman as coach has had.

McCarthy met with Favre on Friday and Thompson traveled to Favre's home earlier in the week to talk to him, but would not offer details of the conversation.

Favre told Mortensen he has told Thompson he won't return for the money or records, saying, "It's not about me. ... I want to make the right decision for everyone involved." "When you sit down and tell a GM, 'I don't know if I can give you everything' -- and I have -- that's usually the first ticket out of town," Favre said Sunday.

McCarthy had worked as a tutor to Favre while he was the Packers' quarterbacks coach in 1999. However, Favre's agent, James Cook, suggested his client might have been more likely to return to the team in 2006 if Green Bay had hired Steve Mariucci, a former Packers assistant who was later the head coach in San Francisco (1997-2002) and Detroit (2003-05).

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