Without any more questions, here is another opinion to consider with the others: Brett Favre will return to play at least another season for the Packers, but not necessarily for the reasons that have been hypothesized. There is a simpler factor involved in Favre's thought process that may outweigh the others.
Favre will return because of the fear of boredom. He is not yet sure what his future beyond football holds, a dilemma many NFL players face when they leave the game, so he will continue to play until an injury or a decision by the Packers leaves him with no choice.
The 2006 season, in retrospect, saw Favre having fun and displaying many of the moments that made him a great player. He still throws a rocket of a pass, is competitive, and is an unquestioned, respected leader throughout the NFL. He also, surprisingly, seemed to be invigorated by a rookie head coach that gave him more choices to make at the line of scrimmage than in the past.
Still, Favre is not the same player he was three or four years ago, let alone ten. His throws are not quite as accurate, he does not run quite as well, and he is more prone to mistakes working with a younger team around him. His statistics are pedestrian, and though his games played streak is unmatched, he is not regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the league anymore.
When Favre was debating his return a year ago at this time knowing a new coaching staff would soon be in place, there was much more to consider. This year he does not have that. He has a comfort level with the coaches and his team is on the rise, which should make for a more timely decision.
What has not changed for Favre, though, is his immediate future should he decide to call it quits. Covered up by the other factors he took into account over the four months it took him to decide last year was that he knew he had to play football. It was something to do.
In the end, he realized there was only so much grass to cut and so many trees to chop down on his vast Mississippi property. As for golf, well, that free time ritual of his had died down in recent years, too. He does not even play much any more during the season, instead choosing to usually hunt on Tuesdays, the traditional player's day off. Playing golf every day in the off-season can get old, too, considering it is probably not his passion.
Until Favre has some strong, compelling reasons, like the Giants' Tiki Barber, to give up football for something else, the urge to play the game will keep driving him back. That urge is what many players hang onto rather than getting out while they can still play.
Life after NFL football affects players in different ways, but it can become a serious life crisis for many. It is the reason why each team internally hires a player development and programs person for active players.
Former Packer Ken Ruettgers even started his own organization, Games Over, based on his own experiences to help players beyond what teams can do for them. He helps them specifically with the transition into "normal" life. While Ruettgers reached a depression state shortly after retirement, Favre may not face a similar situation, but he may be realizing he is battling a bigger problem that cannot be solved by the riches of NFL salaries alone.
Favre will soon be changing his culture, and as a creature of habit, that can be more daunting than trying to elude a blitzing linebacker. The longer he extends his career, the more difficult the transition to life after football could become.
Favre's personality would lead anyone to believe that he could be successful in whatever he does after football, but what that is will be his next challenge. His competitiveness and workman-like nature will make him want find out soon. Until that becomes clearer, though, he will return to play the game he loves for as long as he can.
Matt Tevsh is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com and Packer Report. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.