Favre decision coming 'soon'

McCarthy hints that quarterback will finally make up his mind

Packers coach Mike McCarthy Friday night indicated that Brett Favre will soon be making a decision on whether he plans to return to play football for the Green Bay Packers in 2006.

"I'll just choose the word, ‘soon,' McCarthy said as he addressed reporters at the team's second annual Fan Fest in the Lambeau Field atrium.

The Packers and their fans are anxiously awaiting Favre's decision. McCarthy said he and general manager Ted Thompson have kept in touch in recent weeks. McCarthy, however, declined to elaborate on their conversations nor did he give a timeframe on when Favre plans to make an announcement.

"Soon. Near future," is all the tight-lipped McCarthy would say.

Last year, Favre thought about retiring after the 2004 season, but decided a few days before Fan Fest to return to play in 2005. He made it official at Fan Fest. This year, however, he is not scheduled to appear at the three-day event, leaving many to wonder if he will retire from football.

Favre was due a $3 million roster bonus on March 8, but McCarthy indicated that that deadline has been pushed back to possibly give Favre a little more time to make a decision.

"That hasn't been rectified yet. We're discussing it," McCarthy said.

Even if Favre is paid the bonus, the team may require that he return it if he decides to call it quits after 15 NFL seasons, including the last 14 in Green Bay.

Packers general manager Ted Thompson told the Fan Fest crowd of about 3,000 that he and Favre "are still talking and he's still trying to decide. It's up to him and Deanna. Hopefully sooner than later," Thompson said.

Former Packer safety LeRoy Butler and current tight end Bubba Franks feel Favre will return to play in 2006. "Brett loves to play football," Butler said. "Brett will play till he's 40 years old. … When he throws a touchdown, he gets as excited as any guy in the league. I think he'll be back."

Franks concurred as the crowd cheered.

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