One one hand, the Packers have second-year pro Aaron Rodgers on the backburner, ready to step into the starting position at quarterback. On the other, there is Favre, at the tail end of his career faced with the possibility of learning a new offense for what? Another season?
Favre is everything to many Packers fans. Many want to see him return. He is a big draw for the organization. But he's not going to play forever. He could easily play for a few more seasons and said as much on ESPN, but he and the Packers have to both realize that he would be better off in a West Coast system with a team that has a chance of going to the playoffs next season. The Packers, realistically, do not have a good chance of making the playoffs next year, so why would Favre want to return to a situation that may not be much better than last year?
The Packers seem to be saying and doing all the right things when it comes to Favre. Both Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy made personal visits with Favre in Mississippi last week. Both say they want Favre to return. But do they really mean it? Or are they just trying to appease the Green Bay fan base?
Favre declined to reveal what he and Thompson talked about in their meeting last week. So, what does that tell us? If Thompson was begging for Favre to return to Green Bay, why wouldn't Favre tell fans this? Favre, however, did say that if the Packers want to "cut him loose" to another team, to proceed.
Favre has said that he'll never play for a different NFL team, but I really don't think he would have a problem suiting up in another uniform. It would be awkward at first, but after time accepted. It might even rejuvenate him a little because right now he seems more burned out than anything. Ask most players who just finished an NFL season if they want to play football next year and most will tell you, 'Heck, no' then do a '180' when training camp rolls around. It's a long season and everyone who plays regularly, especially quarterbacks, get beat up physically and mentally. The off-season has a way of healing physical and mental wounds.
Favre fully understands how the league operates. He realizes the direction the Packers are headed better than anyone else, and he said that he "still loves to play."
Favre will return to football, but don't expect it to be with the Packers. It's just not the right fit with the current personnel. Even if he does decide to retire, I predict he'll return after a season, or less, with another team when the dust settles in Green Bay.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.