Don't bet on it.
"Well, they've got to do that," said tight end Bubba Franks, who has played with Favre the last seven seasons. "They (the NFL Network) need something to talk about. Like I told them, he's not going anywhere anyway."
Franks had just finished an interview by his locker with a reporter from NFL Network. He then stood up and confirmed what many Packers media and fans truly believe: "He's not going anywhere," Franks said. "We get on this subject every year and we get the same result. What's the difference between this year and any other year? He's not going anywhere."
Franks said the same words to any and every reporter who asked him about Favre's future within the span of five minutes. If you don't quite believe Franks, then Favre himself, in a round-about way, pretty much said that he'll be back next season during his press conference earlier in the afternoon at Lambeau Field.
The first question, of course, Favre addressed was if he felt this might be his last game. And, of course, he said he wasn't sure, though, a little awkwardly. "I haven't really thought about it that much. It very well could be," Favre said. "I haven't made that decision yet that I would treat this game any differently because it may be. I think I treat every game like it was the last. So, play as hard as I can and soak it all in, like I've always done."
And he will continue to do so next year, and for who knows how much longer? Count on it.
Favre left clues about his future in pro football throughout his press conference. Without literally saying that he is returning for another season, he did give reasons for returning, leaving little reason to believe that he will retire after this season. Here are a few:
1. He still loves playing football: "I love this game, I really do," Favre said, "but there's factors that go into that, and I'll have to sort through it quickly to be fair to my family, myself and this team."
Week in and week out, Favre continues to show an undying love for playing football. Besides, if he retired, what else would he do? At this point, it would be difficult to imagine him watching games on television next season, knowing that he could be playing. He's gotta feel the same way.
2. He still feels like he can make plays: "If I did not think I could play at a high level, or going back to this season … if I didn't feel like I could make the plays that have gotten me to this point, I would not come back," Favre said. "Same goes for next year.
"I feel good about where I am physically. Yeah, there's some aches and pains. If I have ankle surgery (this off-season), which would be a routine scope that I've done before, I think I'd feel even better."
Favre has dealt with a nagging ankle injury that dates back to 1995. He also has had a sore groin, and, of course, an elbow injury that he sustained Nov. 19 against New England. Other than that, he continues with his amazing starting streak (255 games overall) week after week.
3. He feels that the Packers can be a contender: Green Bay will probably be on the outside looking in this year on the NFC playoffs, but the team is headed in the right direction under Mike McCarthy. Favre feels the same way, which will weigh in his decision to return.
"This team has the potential," Favre said. "Obviously, it plays a part. If there's no chance of winning and you don't care about that, then I guess it doesn't play a big part in it. But I'm in it to win. I think this team has potential to do that. It's been fun. I've had a lot of fun dealing with these guys this year. In fact, I've probably been more fun to deal with as far as my family is concerned and how I've been in this building. I'm not content at 6-8, but in some ways it's been enjoyable. That makes it easier."
When it comes right down to it, the only possible reason Favre would not return to play for the Packers next season in Green Bay is if the Packers traded him to another team. While that could happen, just like the Tennessee Titans traded Steve McNair away, it probably won't. Favre is too big an asset for the Packers organization, and if Aaron Rodgers has to wait one more season to play, he'll have to wait.
The feeling here is that the Packers will allow Favre to lead the way and be a beacon for the organization as long as he wants to, and that will include next season.
If you ask Franks, even longer. "He'll be here forever, and I mean forever," Franks said.
That's very possible.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.