Favre says he's coming back to Pack

Veteran quarterback Brett Favre made it official today by telling a Mississippi newspaper that he plans to return to the Green Bay Packers for the 2007 season.

Favre will return for his 17th season in the National Football League, 16th with Green Bay. The quarterback informed the Green Bay Packers this morning, then spoke with a reporter from the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss.

"I am so excited about coming back," Favre told the newspaper. "We have a good nucleus of young players. We were 8-8 last year and that's encouraging.

"My offensive line looks good, the defense played good down the stretch. I'm excited about playing for a talented young football team."

"Brett Favre informed me this morning that he plans to return for a 17th NFL season," Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in a statement released by the Packers. "The Packers are excited by his decision and look forward to a successful 2007 campaign."

The league's only three-time MVP, Favre, 37, last left the field in an emotional scene in Chicago after leading the Packers to a victory over the Bears to finish the season 8-8.

Favre has started 257 consecutive games, including the playoffs, an NFL record for quarterbacks. He broke Dan Marino's record for career completions (4,967) in 2006 and is closing in on Marino's marks for career touchdown passes (420) and yards passing (61,361). Last year, Favre completed 56 percent of his passes, throwing for 18 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

By playing another season, Favre can break a few more major NFL records. He needs seven more touchdown passes to break Dan Marino's NFL mark of 420 career touchdown passes, and 3,862 passing yards to surpass Marino's 61,361 (Favre had 18 touchdown passes and 3,885 passing yards in 2006). He also needs just two more victories to pass John Elway and become the winningest quarterback ever.

Last season Favre waited until April before announcing that he would return. In a teary-eyed interview on Dec. 31, he told a national television audience after Green Bay's game against the Bears that he'll decide within "a couple of weeks." He spoke with head coach Mike McCarthy, who is at the Super Bowl, earlier this week, then made his decision public today, informing the Packers, then wide receiver Donald Driver and the newspaper.

The writer of the article, Al Jones, told a Milwaukee television station that Favre is excited about the team's offense and how well the defense played later in the season. Jones said that this year, the decision was solely Favre's. His wife, Deanna, had told Favre she wanted nothing to do with the decision.

On Thursday, ESPN's Chris Mortenson reported that Favre wasn't goiing to make a decision until late February.

During his 15 seasons under center for Green Bay, Favre has led the Packers to 10 postseason appearances, six division titles, three NFC Championship games, two Super Bowls and one championship following the 1996 season.

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